IDF says string of red alert sirens in South were all false alarms

Three sirens sounded in Ashkelon Regional Council and two in Sha'ar Hanegev, but army says it believes no rockets were fired from Gaza.

Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File] (photo credit: REUTERS)
Rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. [File]
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Several rocket-warning sirens that went off in southern regions bordering Gaza on Thursday were likely set off by small-arms fire in the Strip, the IDF believes.
At least five sirens went off in the Ashkelon Coast region and the Sha’ar Hanegev region in the morning, sending locals fleeing for cover in scenes reminiscent of the 50-day war this summer with Hamas.
The IDF later said all of the sirens were false alarms.
Speaking in the South at a meeting of the Kibbutz Movement, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon once again vowed that Israel will “not allow [projectile] fire, which is mistakenly called a drizzle, to return to your routine. We do not intend to compromise on that. Our obligation to you is to prevent Hamas and other terrorist organizations from disrupting your lives through the firing of rockets and mortars, or through infiltrations, above ground or through tunnels, which we dealt with before and during the operation through a variety of effective ways, from the air and ground.”
The defense minister said that Operation Protective Edge landed a very serious blow on Hamas, adding that this is why it quickly ordered its members to arrest rocket launchers who violated the truce on Wednesday.
“Hamas knows that we will not hesitate to use our power.
We did that during the summer, and if required, we will do it again any time we think is right. We expect Hamas to enforce the cease-fire and not test our patience,” Ya’alon said.
“It is important that you know, dear friends: We managed this conflict against Hamas with responsibility and sound judgment. We are aware of the heavy mission we carry on our shoulders. We cannot predict the future, but we are doing everything so that the fabric of life here is not disrupted and will not be at the mercy of the whims of terrorist organizations,” he said.