False Alarm: Israeli Jets Practicing for Air Show Jolt Tel Aviv (VIDEO)
AP Photo/ Ariel SchalitMiddle East02:06 13.04.2018(updated 02:08 13.04.2018) Get short URL1
Israeli F-15 jets practicing for an air show for Israel’s Independence Day on April 19, startled residents who assumed the fighter jet activity above the Israeli capital was related to ongoing tensions with Syria just a week after Israel struck a Syrian airbase.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) made no prior announcement of the F-15 drills, which left residents in Tel Aviv struggling for an explanation.
Police said in a statement that “many calls were received from worried citizens about noise from a squadron of planes in the Tel Aviv area.” It cautioned: “We would like to make clear they were training for the Independence Day aerial display. There’s no emergency.”
The F-15s maneuvered through the sky, practicing drastic turns, climbs and dives in “what appeared to be a mock dogfight,” according to the Jerusalem Post. The roar of the F-15 engines was audible in the streets.
The false alarm comes at a moment when Israel is engaged in conflict on two fronts: with Syria — in its Golan Heights, which Israel occupies with Islamist proxies — as well as Israel’s strike last week on the Syrian T-4 airbase in the liberated Homs province — and Israel’s violent response to protests in Gaza by Israel’s border fence.
This is not the IDF’s first oversight to occur at a time when war could break out at any moment — or already has. US Army Colonel David “Mickey” Marcus was accidentally shot to death by Israeli friendly fire while returning to base at night during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
During the 1967 Six-Day War, Israeli Air Force jets and Navy motor torpedo boats accidentally attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 members of the US military.
During the 2008-09 Gaza War, also called Operation Cast Lead, three IDF soldiers were killed and 24 were wounded when an Israeli tank fired a live round at an abandoned building in which other IDF soldiers were taking cover.