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False Alarm in Eilat: Iron Dome Mishap, Not Rockets

IDF official now says reports of three grad rockets fired at Eilat were false, mishap at Iron Dome site misinterpreted.
By Uzi Baruch
First Publish: 4/1/2014, 8:11 AM / Last Update: 4/1/2014, 8:37 AM

Israel's Iron Dome in action
Israel's Iron Dome in action
Flash 90

Eilat residents reported multiple explosions Tuesday morning, leading to suspicions of a terror attack. 

IDF officials stated to Arutz Sheva later Tuesday morning that the attacks were really a false alarm, however, and the result of a mishap at the Iron Dome site. Details are still pending. 

Initial reports had stated that three Grad rockets were fired at the resort town, with two being allegedly shot down by the Iron Dome and the third exploding in an open area.

Earlier, a police spokesman for the city of Eilat said authorities had received numerous phone calls from concerned residents over the explosions. Eilat District Police cars performed an extensive search throughout the city. 

Citizens reported in at least two loud explosions in the city. A trail of smoke was seen and a fire whistle sounded before one of the explosions - the result of Iron Dome defensive missiles being accidentally fired.

Concerns had also been raised over a passenger plane still in transit over Eilat's airport when the reports of rocket fire came in. The plane, according to Walla! News, was circling in a holding pattern over the airport at the time, and was landed safely and all passengers and crew evacuated. 

Eilat is on high alert against rocket fire; in January, terrorists fired two rockets at Eilat. A Sinai-based Salafist group, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, claimed responsibility for the attack, as it did with previous attacks on the resort city.

"Our war with the enemy in Egypt has not dissuaded us from the war against the first enemy of our nation. With Allah's help, the Jews will only see injury from us,"  the group said.