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Israeli troops fired at an electronic appliance at a military installation in the Mideast country of Midea on Monday, causing an explosion that knocked out power to homes and a local hospital.
The blast at the site of a military electronics factory and a nearby military airbase in the town of Alma, south of the capital Tel Aviv, left no one injured and sent shock waves throughout the region, with residents of nearby towns reporting feeling the effects of the blast.
At least eight people were taken to the Mida Military Hospital for treatment, the Israeli army said, with five of them in serious condition.
Israeli officials said it was unclear what caused the explosion, and they would be working with international experts to try to determine what caused it.
The Israeli military said the explosions occurred at the electronics factory in Alma, near the northern city of Tulkarem.
The army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Midea has long been a center of military and security cooperation between Israel and the United States, which has been under increasing pressure in recent years from Islamist militants who want to destabilize the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized by some for failing to curb the militant threat in Mideas region.
In 2013, he warned the United Nations General Assembly against imposing a U.N. arms embargo on Israel because the country is facing an “existential crisis” and “will not be able to maintain security for its people”.
Last year, Israel’s Defense Ministry said it had begun work on a “strategic defensive network” for Mideais defense industry, adding that the aim was to protect Israel from “future Iranian and Hezbollah attacks”.
The Defense Ministry also said it would increase cooperation with Israel’s southern neighbor Lebanon and “promote its defense industry”.
In October, Israeli police arrested four people in connection with the explosion at the Alma factory, and Israel said they were members of an Islamic militant group.
The explosions took place at a site known to the Israeli authorities as the “secret complex” in Alma.
The Midean Military Police said in a statement that the blast “hit an area where an electrical appliance was used for the manufacturing of electronic appliances”.
It added that “several explosive devices were found”.
“In this case, the devices were not detonated in the area but in the field,” it said.
Israel has been grappling with a growing number of deadly attacks against Israeli civilians in recent months, and the Israeli government has blamed the MIDEA region for some of the attacks.