Tens of thousands of IDF reservists received obscure phone calls and messages through an automated emergency call system early Thursday morning in what the Israel Defense Forces called a technical incident. “malfunctionning” during scheduled maintenance.
“This evening a planned maintenance operation was carried out on the IDF numbering system, in connection with which a malfunction occurred and, as a result, an error message was sent in English”, the IDF said in a tweet.
According to Israeli media, the robocalls did not actually call any reservists to work, but only issued a “Error” message before hanging up. The military also reassured the public that there was no emergency, apologizing and wishing everyone a happy Hanukkah.
A similar accident happened in 2018, during the country’s Independence Day celebrations, amid heightened tensions following the shooting of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border. At the time, thousands of Israelis received more specific messages that read: “You must report to the meeting place immediately. Reminder, you must bring your protection kit and your military kit. Once the error was realized, a message canceling the original order was issued.
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