Israel strikes Gaza militant sites after incendiary balloons

Clay Curtis
August 14, 2020

Hamas police officers stand guard following an explosion at a UN-run school in Gaza City on August 13, 2020.

On Monday, Hamas fired several rockets into the sea as a warning "message" to Israel, a source close to the terror group told AFP. Airstrikes have hit targets in the tightly congested coastal city, which led to a missile hitting a school administered by the United Nations refugee agency.

Israel launched airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip for the third night in a row early Friday, the military said, as the government was said to be planning to step up its response to a spate of attacks using balloon-borne arson and explosive devices launched from the Strip into Israel in recent days.

"This is in response to the continued launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into the territory of the State of Israel", it added.

"The terrorist organization Hamas bears responsibility for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip and will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli citizens", the IDF said.

"These aggressive policies aim to exacerbate the crises our people in Gaza are enduring, to paralyse their daily life and to disrupt the efforts of combating the coronavirus amid worldwide and regional silence", Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesperson for the group, said in a statement.

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Gaza relies on Israel for most of its energy needs. Kites are sometimes used in the makeshift attacks.

Previously on Wednesday, some disguised young men threw balloon-borne explosive and inflammable devices into Israel, sparking around 24 fires, the news website stated.

Despite a truce a year ago backed by the UN, Egypt and Qatar, the two sides clash sporadically with rockets, mortar fire or incendiary balloons.

Zamir explained the details of the understandings with Uruguay which stipulated that Israel pays $350,000 in the first stage for the deportation expenses of 10,000 Palestinians.

At the same time, the Israeli occupation authorities reduced the fishing area for Gaza fishermen and stopped the entry of fuel into Gaza as part of its collective punishment policy against the Gaza Strip and its two million impoverished population.

Palestinian analysts say cross-border fire from Gaza is often used as a bargaining tool to secure Israel's green light for the delivery of Qatari aid cash into the territory.

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