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More air-raid sirens sound in northern Israel

"Following up on the activation of alerts in the north of the country, these are false alarms," the army said.

A Patriot missile interceptor battery stationed in northern Israel, Aug. 2, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.
A Patriot missile interceptor battery stationed in northern Israel, Aug. 2, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.

More sirens sounded in towns on Israel’s border with Lebanon on Thursday night, including in the city of Kiryat Shmona, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed.

“Following up on the activation of alerts in the north of the country, these are false alarms,” the army said.

The Magen David Adom emergency medical service said it did not receive any reports about casualties following the incident.

On Thursday afternoon, air-raid sirens blared in towns in Israel’s Upper Galilee region. The alarms were set off by an IDF interceptor missile that was launched after an “identification in Israel’s skies,” the military said.

According to Army Radio, at least one enemy rocket struck inside Israel. However, the IDF said it was still investigating whether any rockets were actually fired at the Jewish state.

A report by the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen television channel claimed on Thursday night that three rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel.

The attack came minutes after a Patriot missile interception battery was activated near the Upper Galilee city of Safed following what was definitely a false alarm, the IDF said.

“A short time ago, an interceptor missile was fired in the northern region due to a detection in the country’s skies. An examination shows it was not a hostile aircraft and it is a false interception,” the army said in a statement.

No sirens sounded in the area ahead of the launch of this interceptor missile.

On Wednesday night, sirens blared across northern Israel amid reports of drones and paragliders crossing the border from Lebanon.

Alerts were set off in cities including ​​Haifa, Tiberias, Beit She’an, Kiryat Shmona, Metula, Nahariya and Safed.

Simultaneously, a Home Front Command directive sent to the phones of millions of Israelis prompted people to rush to bomb shelters across the nation amid fears of a large-scale attack.

“Further to the reports of intrusion from the Lebanese border into Israel’s airspace, as of now fear of intrusion has been ruled out,” the Israel Defense Forces said over 90 minutes after the alerts first went out.

According to Israel’s Channel 12 News, 15 to 20 drones had crossed into the Jewish state from Lebanon. Reports were also received of terrorists on paragliders landing in northern Israel.

“No hits have been detected in Israeli territory and no casualties have been reported,” the IDF noted.

“IDF forces are scanning the area from the ground and from the air, added the statement.

The IDF Home Front Command had instructed residents to the north of Haifa to lock themselves in their homes and dim lights.

Concurrently, a suspected terrorist infiltration alert was activated in Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch, near Kiryat Shmona. In the adjacent community of Moshav Beit Hillel, residents reported hearing gunfire.

The IDF also announced a long-range rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel’s north, which landed in an open area in the Carmel region near Haifa, causing no damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv. 

Earlier on Wednesday, terrorists in southern Lebanon fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli military position near the border, the IDF said.

Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack, Arab sources reported.

“A short time ago, anti-tank guided missile fire was detected from Lebanese territory toward a military post near [the Israeli Bedouin village of] Arab al-Aramshe on the Lebanese border,” the IDF said.

“An IDF aircraft attacked an observation post of the Hezbollah terrorist organization,” the army said. The IDF also fired artillery at targets in Lebanon, it added.

The Lebanese terrorist organization has been testing the waters, initiating a series of fire exchanges as the Jewish state fights Hamas terrorists on its southern border.

“The IDF is prepared for all scenarios in all arenas, and will continue to operate in order to protect Israeli civilians,” stated the military.

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