Rocket Alarm Sirens Sound in Southern Israeli City of Ashkelon

Alarms come after a day when a group responsible for launching Gaza's airborne firebombs vowed to continue its operations against Israel

Rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Wednesday were a false alarm, the Israeli military said. They are currently looking into the matter. Residents of Ashkelon reported no sounds of explosion.

A group representing all responsible for launching Gaza's airborne firebombs vowed on Wednesday to continue its operations against Israel.  

"We hereby declare that our non-violent actions will continue and even more intensively, until we meet the demands of the Palestinian people to remove the blockade," the group said in a written statement.

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The incendiary balloon and kite flyers "stress that the pace of kite and balloon dispatches will intensify with the blockade."

There were reports on Tuesday that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were continuing their contacts with Egyptian intelligence in an effort to achieve an easing of the Gaza blockade from Israel and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the army is urging the government to exhaust efforts to exert civilian pressure on the Gaza Strip before deciding to launch a military operation.

Senior officers understand that the government is under pressure over its failure to stop incendiary kites and other attacks from Gaza, and that the chances of war have risen significantly over the past few days. They are therefore preparing for the possibility that a military operation will be ordered.

Details to follow