Calm in south breached as rocket lands in city. Color Red alert fails to sound, IDF said system turned off to avoid false alarms
Ilana Curiel Published: 12.31.09, 21:43 / Israel News
A rocket fired from northern Gaza landed in the southern city of Netivot Thursday night.
No injuries or damage were reported. The Color Red alert did not sound ahead of the launch.
At around 9:25 pm two rocket launchings emanating from the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza were detected, but apparently only one rocket landed, in an open area.
"The siren did not sound, and suddenly we heard two booms. It took us back two years – to the war," one resident told Ynet.
Netivot City Council member Ron Stern told Ynet that reports of a rocket launching were received through the municipality's pagers, but "the rest of the city's residents who do not own pagers were not warned."
IDF sources said that the Color Red alert system in Netivot did not sound because it was turned off.
The system, they added, had been turned off to avoid false alarms. The Color Red system is made active following military intelligence assessments
On Wednesday a mortar shell fired from the Strip exploded in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council.There were no reports of damage or injuries.
Shortly before the shell was fired, the Shin Bet published data summing up the security situation in 2009, which stated that 566 rockets were fired on Israel in the past year, with most of them being launched in January, during Operation Cast Lead.
According to the Shin Bet this is a significant decline from the 2,048 rockets which were fired at Israel in 2008.
The most recent incident at the Gaza border occurred over the weekend, when three explosive devices were discovered in the spot where three Palestinian terrorists were killed by the IDF.
The last time rockets were fired at the western Negev was on December 16, when two rockets exploded in an open area near Sderot. The rockets were fired as eight soldiers and commanders received honors for their conduct during the Gaza war in Ashkelon
Click to view image: '5eed26736e0d-qassam_sderot_2_wa.jpg'
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