IDF: Iron Dome Defensive Rocket Fired in Error

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Iron Dome missile defense battery set up in Sderot fires an intercepting missile on Aug. 9. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90, File)

The Iron Dome missile defense system was launched in error Thursday morning, the IDF said in a statement after Gaza border area residents said they had heard numerous explosions. An Iron Dome missile was launched because soldiers operating the system believed that a rocket was being fired at Israel from Gaza, but no rocket was fired.

Earlier, reports had said that the system was activated in response to a rocket that had been fired from Gaza. The reports said that the Gaza rocket was eliminated in the skies over the southern city of Netivot. Gaza Arab terrorists fired several rockets at southern Israel Thursday morning, setting off Red Alert sirens in the Gaza fence border region.

Residents reported hearing numerous explosions. There were no reports of injury or damage. Officials said that it was likely that the rocket was fired by a small Islamist group operating in Gaza, and not Hamas. After the announcement that the Iron Dome system had knocked out the Gaza rocket, security officials gave an all-clear, and residents of the area were told that they could leave their bomb shelters.

Earlier Thursday, there was noticeable security activity in the Gaza border area, with the army shutting down several roads and highways. No official announcement was made on the activity, and the army did not issue any specific security instructions for residents.

Overnight Wednesday, security officials said they arrested three wanted security suspects in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.