False alarm triggered on Gaza border, amid sky-high tensions
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False alarm triggered on Gaza border, amid sky-high tensions

Unclear what set off alarm system in southern Israel's Eshkol region, sending hundreds to bomb shelters, a day after bloody border clashes

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

Israeli children run to a bomb shelter during a Color Red alarm warning of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip, January 8, 2009. (Anna Kaplan/ Flash90/File)
Israeli children run to a bomb shelter during a Color Red alarm warning of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip, January 8, 2009. (Anna Kaplan/ Flash90/File)

Incoming rocket sirens blared in southern Israel in a false alarm on Tuesday morning, a day after a series of violent clashes along the Gaza border, the army said.

The sirens sounded in the southern Eshkol region, near the border with both the Gaza Strip and Egypt, sending hundreds of residents to bomb shelters.

After investigating what triggered the system, the army said it determined that the sirens were a false alarm. It was not immediately clear what caused it.

“Regarding the report of a rocket siren in the Eshkol region, it was a false alarm,” the army said in a statement.

In the past, the Israeli military has credited oversensitivity with unnecessarily triggering the rocket detection system.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said around 40,000 Gazans participated in “unprecedentedly” violent riots along the security fence on Monday. The protests, which Israel said were spurred by Hamas seeking to carry out terror attacks, saw multiple cases of shots fired at Israeli troops and several unsuccessful attempts to breach the border.

IDF soldiers responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live fire. As of Monday night, 58 Palestinians were reported killed in the clashes by the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, and another 2,771 injured.

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