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September 29, 2014 8:12 pm

Sonic Booms From Israeli Air Force’s Countrywide Training Jolt Jittery Residents

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Israel Air Force planes. Photo: Israel Defense Forces.

Israel Air Force planes. Photo: Israel Defense Forces.

Air Force jets taking part in training exercises in recent days in the skies around Israel, frightened more than a few civilians, the local 0404 News reported.

The airspace over Israel is small, hemmed in by neighboring countries, and aircraft are often sent up over what are sometimes immediate threats, real and perceived.

Last Tuesday, an Israeli Patriot surface-to-air missile shot down a Syrian warplane that entered Israeli airspace over Quneitra in the eastern Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, in southern Beersheba on Monday, police reported near daily calls from panicked residents over powerful “explosions” throughout the city.

The capital of the Negev was hammered hard by Hamas rockets during the IDF’s recent 50-day Operation Protective Edge, itself meant to foil such attacks.

“All day long, my neighbor has been claiming that they’re hiding rocket strikes from the public,” Oded told the site. However, “I explain to her that nothing happened, and that these are just aircraft training.”

Fighting ended on Aug. 26, when an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire went into effect.

“I can understand her,” Oded added. “Our country is in a big panic after the storm of Protective Edge. Individuals get caught up – and that’s it. All the noise scares them.”

Similar requests were also received from Jerusalem, central Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, and elsewhere, as well as the coastal Ashkelon and Ashdod areas.

“The explosion literally shook my house,” D’ganit from Rishon said. Eli in Beersheba wondered “Why not tell the public about these exercises.”

Some of the exercises the IDF carries out are pre-planned, and details are released to the public via the media in advance. But, in the most recent incident, no one – apparently – bothered to alert the public at large.

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