IDF fires at 2 Gaza cells launching incendiary balloons

March 23, 2019
3 Palestinians reportedly injured in initial strike, 1 in second; incident comes amid increase in number of devices launched from Strip

Suspected incendiary balloons discovered in community close to the Gaza border, December 28, 2018

Times of Israel reports, “The Israeli military said on Saturday its aircraft launched a pair of strikes at Palestinian cells flying incendiary balloons from the southern Gaza Strip into Israel. “IDF aircraft attacked a short time ago a terror cell that launched balloons rigged with explosives from southern Gaza toward Israeli territory,” the military said in a statement Saturday afternoon. A subsequent statement said “an additional terror cell” was struck.”

“Three Palestinians were injured in the initial strike, according to reports, and one was said injured in the second strike. Images on social media showed a motorcycle said to have been damaged by Israeli fire. Recent weeks have seen an uptick of incendiary balloons launched from the coastal enclave, after a drop-off in attacks following an unofficial truce between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group in November.”…

“Saturday’s strike came a day after several thousand Palestinians took part in violent protests on the Gaza-Israel border, throwing explosive devices and rocks at Israeli soldiers who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire. Palestinians said two people were killed.”

“Also Friday, a balloon carrying an incendiary device launched from Gaza set a blaze between homes in the nearby Israeli kibbutz of Nir Am. The fire was extinguished and there were no reports of injuries. Another blaze was started near Kibbutz Be’eri. In riots along the barrier Friday, Palestinians tried to destroy the border fence in several places, but were pushed back by the Israeli soldiers. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said two Palestinians, an 18-year-old and a 29-year-old, were killed by live fire, and 55 were wounded.” (more…)

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