Sirens sound in south of Israel, army says false alarm

September 19, 2015 22:41
1 minute read.
Gaza Strip

Light streak trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel July 29, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF has said that the sirens which went off fell in the Sha'ar Hanegev region on Saturday were a false alarm.

The sirens come after The Israel Air Force (IAF) struck three terrorist targets in northern Gaza earlier on Saturday, following two Gazan rocket attacks on the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon.

One of the targets hit by the IAF was a Hamas-run telecommunications site.

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A Salafist organization affiliated with Islamic State, the Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigades, said it was behind both rocket attacks on the South on Friday night.

An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery shot down a Gazan rocket over the city of Ashkelon. Warning sirens rang out across the city, sending residents fleeing for cover, before Iron Dome went into action. There were no injuries or damages

A few hours earlier, a Palestinian rocket slammed into a residential area of Sderot, exploding and damaging a home and a nearby bus, but failing to cause injuries. That rocket too triggered sirens in Sderot and surrounding localities.

In recent months, the Omar Hadid Brigades – named after a key figure who helped Abu Musab al-Zarqawi set up and run al-Qaida in Iraq a decade ago – has attempted to challenge Hamas’s rule in the Strip.

The Omar Brigades group is responsible for a growing number of rocket attacks from Gaza, and hopes to spark a new conflict with Israel that will weaken Hamas and enable it to fill the resulting power vacuum.

Hamas arrested members of the group following past rocket attacks, and has stepped up attempts to enforce the truce with Israel, which came into effect in August 2014, ending a 50-day conflict.

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