Residents of Netivot and nearby communities reported hearing a loud explosion in the skies overhead on Thursday night, but no Red Alert incoming rocket siren was activated.
Several residents also reported seeing what appeared to be a flash of light from the explosion.
The Israel Defense Forces subsequently cleared up the mystery with a terse statement.
“Earlier this evening an interceptor (Iron Dome) was launched following a suspicious identification inside Israeli airspace over southern Israel,” the IDF said.
“An alert was activated in open areas in accordance with protocol. The incident is under review.”
Thursday night marks the seventh night of a twice-extended “hudna” (temporary ceasefire) between Israel and Hamas to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of Israeli and other hostages that were kidnapped and are being held in Gaza by the terrorist organization.
However, as of 9 pm Thursday night, there were no reports of any further extension of the “pause” during which three convicted Palestinian Authority terrorists were released from Israeli prisons in exchange for the release of every Israeli hostage from Gaza.