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Report: "False alarm" prompted Barak to shut down Gaza's crossings

Oct. 30, 2008 8:27 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2008 8:27 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The reported projectile attack that compelled Israel to impose total closure on the Gaza Strip on Thursday is now reported to have been a false alarm, Israeli military officials said on Thursday evening.

Israeli military sources told Ynet online news that no homemade rocket has been found, and that the "red alert" siren may have sounded due to a technical failure.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the total closure on Thursday morning in response to the alarm. Israel has imposed near-complete closure on Gaza's 1.5 million residents for nearly a year and a half.

According to the terms of ceasefire declared in June, Israel was to ease its blockade and halt incursions in Gaza in exchange for an end to homemade rocket fire. Palestinian and international observers say that Israel has failed to significantly open Gaza's borders.
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