The military said the overnight calls and texts were an “accident”
Tens of thousands of Israeli army reservists received obscure phone calls and messages via an automated emergency call-up system early Thursday morning, in what the Israel Defense Forces called a technical “malfunction” during a planned maintenance.
“Tonight, a planned maintenance operation was carried out on the IDF dialer system, as part of 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 reports, the robocalls did not actually call up any reservists for duty, but only issued an “Error” message before hanging up. The military also reassured the public that there was no emergency, issuing an apology and wishing everyone a happy Hanukkah.
A similar accident happened in 2018, during the country’s independence day celebrations amid hightened tensions following the shooting of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border. Back then thousands of Israelis received more specific messages that read: “You are to report immediately to the meeting place. Reminder, you are to bring your protection kit and your military kit.” Once the error was realized, a message canceling the original order was issued.
December 23, 2022 at 08:08AM