2. This information is based both on my experience calling at three different times on three different days and listening to the machine message loop until it died and went into beep-beep-beep mode instead of ringing, and on the first-hand admission of the person who was supposed to answer it.
3. That's right, 1-700, followed by six digits, not seven digits.
4. This is well-known among people in the know. You have to try to call a few times and then go down to Misrad HaPnim, Room 204, and tell them that you couldn't get through on the phone and then they'll let you make the appointment in person. I've never tried to make an appointment via fax (02-646-9523) because I never had regular use of a fax machine such that they could fax me back with confirmation about my appointment time. If you're reading this and you have regular access to a fax machine or you have an eFax number, you can try this and let me know how it goes.
5. Not surprisingly but somewhat confusingly, you press "2" for 03 and "3" for 04, etc.