Gaza Balloons Start Six Fires in Southern Israel, in First Since September

The fires, which were all brought under control, come amid tensions in the wake of the a decision to delay the Palestinian elections

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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A fire started by a balloon from Gaza in southern Israel, today.
A fire started by a balloon from Gaza in southern Israel, today.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

Six fires were started by incendiary balloons at two locations near the Gaza border on Thursday, following a flare-up last month between Israel and Hamas, Israeli authorities say.

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The fires were all brought under control.

Early this week, two booby-trapped balloons were found in the kibbutz of Kfar Aza. It was not clear when they landed in Israel, and they did not start any fires.

Thursday was the first instance of fires started by balloons floated from Gaza since September.

Last week, Hamas said it would hold Israel responsible if Palestinian parliamentary elections were delayed – as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas subsequently did, citing Israel's refusal to allow voting in East Jerusalem.   

Last month also saw several consecutive nights of rocket fire from Gaza, which the groups claiming responsibility saying they were responding to events in Jerusalem, where tensions ran particularly high last month. Israel shut the fishing zone off the Gaza coast for three days over the rockets.

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