Fifth Minor Trembler Shakes Northern Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A minor 3.3-magnitude earthquake rumbled near the Sea of Galilee Tuesday morning, the fifth in less than a week. Though tremors were felt, there were no injuries or damage. Israeli seismologists say they're fairly common.

Tuesday's trembler followed four minor quakes in northern Israel over the past five days, two on Sunday, another early Saturday and another last Thursday evening.

The string of quakes prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convene a meeting Monday morning on earthquake preparedness. The Home Front Command and emergency response personnel met separately to discuss preparedness for a major quake.

Last month, a 3.5-magnitude quake could be felt in Jerusalem and the northern Dead Sea. A week ago Sunday, a 6.4-magnitude quake off the coast of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea caused tremors in Athens and could also be felt in parts of Israel and Egypt.

The last major quake in Israel occurred in 1927, killing 500, injuring 700 and inflicting heavy damage in Nablus (biblical Shechem) -- as well as destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Nearly a century earlier, the "Safed earthquake" struck on January 1, 1837, killing some 5,000 people and destroying most of Safed and several Arab villages in the vicinity.

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