Gaza Terror Groups Fire Rocket Into Israel, IDF Hits Hamas Posts in Response

Several incendiary balloons were launched from Gaza in recent days, sparking wildfires ■ Gazans demonstrate on border with Israel in solidarity with East Jerusalem protests

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Palestinian protesters burn tires during a demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, yesterday.
Palestinian protesters burn tires during a demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, yesterday.Credit: MAHMUD HAMS - AFP

One rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel in the early hours of Sunday morning, landing in an open area. 

The Israel Defense Forces responded by attacking a Hamas military post in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said some 450 Gazans protested near the border fence in solidarity with the Palestinians in Jerusalem on Saturday night. Protesters are "burning tires and throwing explosives. IDF soldiers are spread out at sites along the border and are using riot dispersal methods," the statement said.

According to Palestinian reports, dozens, not hundreds, of Palestinian youth protested at the border.

Following a rise in tensions in Gaza, the IDF increased their presence on the Gaza border, and deployed more Iron Dome batteries in Israel's south. 

As clashes have escalated in Jerusalem, Gaza-based groups have ramped up tensions on the border with Israel, firing rockets and launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory. 

On Saturday, ten fires broke in southern Israel as a result of incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip. On Thursday, six fires broke out in the Eshkol Regional Council due to the balloons. These are the first fires caused by incendiary balloons since last September. Last summer, dozens of incendiary balloons were found daily, and the military regularly struck Hamas targets in the Strip in response.

Last month, Gaza-based groups launched barrages of rockets at Israel, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome or fell in open areas. It was Israel's most significant standoff with the Gaza Strip in months; in one night, 36 rockets were launched. Israel struck Hamas targets in retaliation.

The Fatah-linked Nidal al-Amoudi Division of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claimed responsibility for the rockets fired, and both said that their operations were carried out in response to recent events in Jerusalem.

Over the past week, dozens of Palestinians have gathered every evening in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to protest the slated eviction of Palestinian families and the presence of Jews who moved into buildings in the neighborhood. Tensions have also risen in the Old City during Ramadan, centering on Damascus Gate.

Violent clashes erupted for the second day on Saturday, and the Palestinian Red Crescent reported about 100 Palestinians wounded in confrontations with Israeli police.    

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