Breaking a relative period of calm along the border with the Gaza Strip, rocket sirens blared in the southern community of Kibbutz Nahal Oz early Sunday afternoon.
The IDF said the alarm was not caused by incoming rocket fire.
The statement appeared to suggest another form of fire could have triggered the siren,
The sirens sounded at approximately 12:20 p.m, sending hundreds of the kibbutz’s residents rushing to bomb shelters.
Southern Israeli communities are regularly targeted by rockets fired by Gaza terrorist groups.
Israel has reportedly warned the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups against any attempted response to the US targeted killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani earlier this month.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, expressed its “sincere condolences” to Iran’s leadership after Soleimani was killed in Baghdad on January 3 and hailed his support for the “Palestinian resistance,” but did not issue any overt threat.
The Islamist group’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, in the past lauded the “strong, powerful and warm” ties Hamas enjoyed with Soleimani, and spoke at the Iranian general’s funeral in Tehran.
The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, which in November fought a two-day battle with Israel after one its military commanders was killed in an Israeli strike, has yet to respond.
Iran has for years sought to arm the Palestinian terror groups with rockets, mortars and missiles.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group said the killing of Soleimani called for “a coordinated, comprehensive and continuous response from resistance forces” against “American and Zionist interests.”
The US strike on Soleimani came amid efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which have fought three wars since the terror group took control of Gaza in 2007.