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IDF to test rocket sirens in communities near Gaza border

Alarms to sound in various towns near the Strip from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., military says

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israelis sit and pray together inside a street shelter, in anticipation of the Code Red siren alerting of incoming rockets, in the Southern Israeli town of Nitzan, on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, July 11, 2014 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Israelis sit and pray together inside a street shelter, in anticipation of the Code Red siren alerting of incoming rockets, in the Southern Israeli town of Nitzan, on the fourth day of Operation Protective Edge, July 11, 2014 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday announced it was testing the rocket sirens in towns near the Gaza Strip throughout the day.

The military said the test was meant to ensure that the alarm system was working properly.

Residents of these towns are not required to enter bomb shelters when they hear the sirens. In the case of an actual attack, the alarms would sound twice, the IDF said.

The alarms were to be heard in the communities of Be’eri and Kissufim at 9:30 a.m.; then in Erez, Nir Oz and Alumim at 10:15 a.m.; Ohad, Nahal Oz and Tzochar at 11 a.m.; Zameret, Sde Nitzan and Shuva at 11:45 a.m.; Zru’ah and Pri Gan at 12:30 p.m.; and Yahini at 1:15 p.m.

The test came a week and a half after Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group fought a two-day battle in and around the Strip, in which over 100 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel and the IDF retaliated with airstrikes against the organization’s facilities in Gaza and — in a highly irregular move — in Syria.

On Sunday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip also fired a rocket toward Israel, which fell short of the border and landed inside the Palestinian enclave, the IDF said at the time.

Terror groups in the Gaza Strip have routinely fired rockets and mortar shells at Israeli communities near the enclave over the years.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes since the group seized control of Gaza from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority in 2007.

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