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      Air Raid Rocket Siren Activates in Golan Heights

      The Color Red incoming rocket alert siren turned out to be a false alarm, which is being investigated.
      By Chana Ya'ar, Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 8/1/2013, 1:27 PM

      View from the Golan
      View from the Golan
      Flash 90

      The Color Red incoming rocket alert siren was activated early Thursday afternoon in the Golan Heights region.

      Local sources said there were unconfirmed reports that the siren activated throughout the region, and into the Emek HaYarden – the Jordan Valley – area as well.

      It was not clear why the siren activated, and security personnel said they were investigating the situation. No missiles or rockets have yet been discovered, and no explosions were heard by residents in the area.

      "There were no booms," said a local source, who asked not to be identified. "But there are still helicopters overhead, I guess they're checking the area to make sure that nothing landed. We have been unofficially told it was a false alarm."

      Like the residents of Sderot and others in the Gaza Belt, those in the northern Golan Heights have just a few seconds in which to race for safety.

      "We have been warned in the past that if a missile is actually fired, we may not have time to wait for confirmation of an alert -- so if we hear a siren or get an SMS, we just have to move, and get to the safe room. That's what we did today. But there were no 'booms' and after a few minutes, we left."

      There have been a number of incidents in which clashes between Syrian government forces and rebel fighters in that country’s civil war have spilled into northern Israel.

      Occasionally there has been some gunfire and a few incidents in which mortar shells have been fired over the border. The IDF has concluded each time that the fire was not aimed at Israel, but rather was a byproduct of the clashes between the two sides fighting in Syria’s civil war.

      Nevertheless, on several occasions, the IDF has returned fire when the High Command has determined the situation warranted the warning.

      "Things have been tense up here, that's for sure," the source said. "But it's been quiet for a while."

      The siren turned out to be a false alarm, which is being investigated.