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Sirens blare in Tel Aviv, in what IDF says is a false alarm

Incident result of a ‘malfunction in the public announcement system used at the Kirya base,’ army says

The Kirya, IDF headquarters, seen from the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, on March 21, 2018. (Shai/Flash90)
The Kirya, IDF headquarters, seen from the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, on March 21, 2018. (Shai/Flash90)

Sirens were heard throughout Tel Aviv on Tuesday, in an incident later explained by the IDF as a “malfunction in the public announcement system used at the Kirya base” — the army’s headquarters in central Tel Aviv.

“There is no threat of a security incident,” the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. “The incident will be investigated.”

On Monday, the military said it would test siren systems and emergency preparedness in nearby Herzliya on Tuesday. A siren test was held in the Jerusalem area in March.

The drills come amid the IDF’s monthlong “Chariots of Fire” exercise, involving nearly all units of the military.

“I didn’t understand what it was. I panicked,” one Tel Aviv resident told the Walla news site.

In the case of an actual attack, sirens would sound twice, the military reminded the public.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts rockets above the coastal city of Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021, following their launching from the Gaza Strip (Ahmad Gharabli / AFP)

In a rare interview recently with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network that was broadcast on Friday, Muhammad Sinwar, the brother of Hamas terror group leader Yahya Sinwar, suggested that targeting central Israeli cities has become a more viable option.

Last year’s conflict between Hamas and Israel laid down new ground rules in which firing rockets at cities in Israel’s heartland from the Gaza Strip became feasible, he argued.

His warning came amid a spike in tensions with Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups issuing threats over the annual Flag March by nationalist Israelis through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem to mark Jerusalem Day.

A Hamas barrage of rockets fired at Jerusalem during last year’s march triggered an 11-day conflict in May 2021, dubbed in Israel Operation Guardian of the Walls. There was no Gaza rocket fire during this year’s march, on Sunday, in which some 70,000 participated.

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