Israel urges people in its north to find shelter after mistaken 'hostile aircraft' alert

11 October 2023, 17:08 | Updated: 11 October 2023, 19:59

Israel has deployed soldiers to its north
Israel has deployed soldiers to its north. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Israel told people in the north of the country to get to shelter after it was feared "hostile aircraft" entered from Lebanon - but the alert was false.

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There have long been fears a second front could open up with Hezbollah, the Islamist militia in Lebanon, on the other side of the country from the Gaza Strip from where Hamas unleashed its massacre.

Hamas opened its terror attack at the weekend by flying over the Gaza security perimeter in paragliders but the aircraft from Lebanon were believed to be drones.

Israel's military said there were no reports of injuries and no impacts had been found, but its forces are scanning the area.

The Israel Defence Forces later confirmed there was no security threat in the north and the alerts were a mistake.

It comes ahead of a suspected invasion of Gaza, with is southwest of the country. If it commits to that, it risks a clash with Hezbollah, another fierce and well-equipped militia that has long fought with Israel, in a two-front war.

Read more: British man Jake Marlowe confirmed dead in Israel after Hamas massacre

Israel has already exchanged fire with Hezbollah, shelling targets over the border in Lebanon after two missiles were fired at Israeli positions in the north.

Israel wants to eliminate Hamas's ability to harm its citizens after more than 1,000 were massacred by rampaging terrorists in the south after they flew over and broke through the barrier to the strip. Its government is trying to form a national unity coalition with the opposition for prosecute the war.

Despite pummelling Hamas in the Gaza strip, the group has managed to continue firing rockets into Israel.

Earlier on Wednesday, foreign secretary James Cleverly had to run for cover when a rocket attack alarm went off.

He was visiting the south of the country when the alert started, and was expected to speak to survivors of the atrocity when the alarm was raised.

The Foreign Office said earlier his visit was designed to display "unwavering solidarity with the Israeli people".

"He will be meeting survivors of the attacks and senior Israeli leaders to outline UK support for Israel's right to defend itself," it added.

The official Twitter account for Israel, which is managed by the country's foreign affairs ministry, filmed him running into a building with another man running close to him as others follow.

His visit comes as it was confirmed another British man, Jack Marlowe, had died during the attack. He was working as security at a music festival when Hamas attacked.