Sirens Sound in Southern Israel's Border Communities in Military Drill

The IDF's Home Front Command tests alert systems for incoming rocket fire from Gaza

Almog Ben Zikri
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Bomb shelter in Amioz, southern Israel, March 1, 2017.
Bomb shelter in Amioz, southern Israel, March 1, 2017.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Almog Ben Zikri

Warning sirens sound Thursday in southern Israeli communities along the Gaza border, as part of a drill by the Israel Defense Forces' Home Front Command to test alert systems, which are designed to warn civilians of incoming rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

The drill is limited to communities in the Eshkol Regional Council, starting with Re'im at 9:15 A.M., followed by Kissufim at 9:55 A.M., Nir Oz at 10:35 A.M., Mivtahim, Yesha and Amioz at 11:20 A.M., Ohad and Tzohar at 11:55 A.M., Talmei Eliyahu at 12:30 P.M., Yated at 2:15 P.M., Dekel at 2:40 P.M. Sufa at 3:25 P.M. and finally Gvulot at 4:15 P.M.

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Two weeks ago, two rockets were fired from the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave toward Israeli border communities. The rockets landed in open areas, causing no damage, and Israel, which usually retaliates with strikes targets in Gaza, didn't respond to the fire in an attempt to prevent further escalation.

The rockets were launched after a Hamas activist, Mahmoud al-Adham, was shot dead by Israeli troops along the border. The Israeli army made a rare statement in which it called the Palestinian's death a "misunderstanding," explaining that he was misidentified as a terrorist while he was trying to turn away Palestinian protesters from the border.