New Delhiinfo-icon: A massive earthquake killing thousands of civilians is expected to hit Israelinfo-icon at some point in the future, the Jewish states military command has warned."A strong earthquake is expected to occur in the State of Israel, which will cause a mass disaster accompanied by thousands of dead and injured and extensive destruction of buildings and infrastructure," the civil defense agency said, according to Haaretz newspaper.

"The fact that there has not been a strong earthquake in a long time increases the chance that a strong earthquake will occur in Israel soon," agency was quoted as saying.However it cautioned that while experts believe that "a strong earthquake will occur in Israel, but it cannot be predicted" with any certainty.

The Facebookinfo-icon post came in response to concerned comments following a series of minor earthquakes felt in northern Israel over the past months.

On Wednesday morning, less than a day after the armyinfo-icon's online statement, another small earthquake with a magnitude of 3.1 struck in northern Israel, 14 kilometers northeast of Beit She'an.The quakes on Tuesday and Wednesday were the fourth and fifth to strike Israel since October. Last month, Israel was struck by two earthquakes within 12 hours. The first measured a 3.7 on the Richter scale and was felt throughout the north of the country. Israel's Geological Survey said that the epicenter of the quake was 16 kilometers (about 10 miles), northeast of Beit She'an. Later that day, an additional earthquake, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, was felt in the same location.

In October, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 took place near Crete. The epicenter of the quake was south of Greeceinfo-icon in the Mediterranean Sea.Last week, Israel formally launched the long-promised nationwide Truaa ("trumpet blast") Early Earthquake Warning System while, while not predictive, can warn that a quake is happening, giving people living relatively far from the epicenter a precious number of seconds to protect themselves.