02:05 GMT +320 August 2018
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    Rocket is launched from a new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. (File)

    False Alarm: Israel Mistakenly Fires Iron Dome Air Defense Missiles in Gaza

    © AP Photo / Dan Balilty
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    Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have reached an unprecedented level following US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

    On Sunday night, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system was mistakenly activated along the border with the Gaza Strip.

    The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) later admitted that no rockets had  been fired from the Palestinian side of the border at the territory of the Jewish state.

    "All of the alarms were triggered by machine gun fire in Gaza. There were no rockets which fell inside Israeli territory,” IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis told reporters.

    He added that the army would investigate the technical reasons for the rocket siren and Iron Dome activations.

    Local television has shown amateur videos of multiple launches of missile interceptors near Ashkelon where rocket alert sirens warning the city’s 130,000 residents to scurry for shelter were heard.

    According to local media reports, both the late night “red alert”  and the mistaken activation of the Iron Dome missile defense system  came in response to Sunday’s live-fire drill being conducted by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    Sunday’s incident follows a Saturday night Israeli Air Force raid against a Hamas compound in Gaza, in retaliation for a border breach and an arson attack against an IDF engineering vehicle.

    READ MORE: Israel Defense Forces Hit Hamas Targets in Gaza Strip

    In December 2017, Hamas responded to Trump’s decision by announcing the beginning of the third "intifada."

    The previous intifadas from 1987-1991 and 2000-2005 left hundreds of Israelis and thousands of Palestinians dead.

    Related:

    Israel Deploys Iron Dome Systems Amid Rising Tensions With Gaza Based Militants
    Israel Defense Forces Hit Hamas Targets in Gaza Strip
    Tags:
    false alarms, Hamas drill, interceptor missiles, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Ronen Manelis, Israel
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