In ‘glitch,’ IDF accidentally calls up reservists on Independence Day

Citing technical error, army quickly cancels emergency summons, after automated messages tell soldiers to show up for duty

Illustrative: An Israeli reservist packs his gear after ending a deployment near Gaza during Operation Defensive Shield. (Tsafrir Abayov/ Flash90)
Illustrative: An Israeli reservist packs his gear after ending a deployment near Gaza during Operation Defensive Shield. (Tsafrir Abayov/ Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday morning, Israel’s Independence Day, accidentally sent out an automated emergency call-up of Israeli army reservists, before quickly canceling the summons.

The army clarified that the automated phone messages were sent in error, saying, “This was a glitch that will be investigated.”

The IDF stressed that there was no call-up of reservists.

“This is a notification of cancellation! This is a notification of cancellation!” the military said in its second message. “The message sent from the information center about your unit is incorrect. There is no need to show up.”

A message from the IDF cancelling a call-up message to reservists sent in error. (Courtesy)

The IDF said it realized its mistake relatively quickly. The initial messages were received at about 8 a.m. and the retraction was sent out a few minutes later.

It did not say how many reservists received the message to show up for duty.

Some reservists said they only received the second message, but not the original instruction to report to their bases.

Hebrew media said the message was only sent to commanders in the reserves, and instructed them to report immediately to the their unit’s emergency warehouse with military equipment and protective kits.

The false alarm came amid heightened tensions on the northern border with Syria and the southern border with Gaza.

Ahead of Israel’s Independence Day, the military was preparing for the possibility of a direct attack by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ air force in response to a strike on Iran’s air base in Syria earlier this month that was attributed to Israel.

Iranian officials have made increasingly bellicose remarks following the April 9 strike on the T-4 air base, near Palmyra in central Syria, which killed at least seven members of the IRGC, including the head of its drone program, Col. Mehdi Dehghan.

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