Israel Strikes Hamas Posts in Response to Explosive Balloons, Sniper Fire

This is the second tit-for-tat in two days, as tensions escalate after release of Trump's peace plan

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Palestinians burn tyres during a demonstration against a U.S. brokered Middle East peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 29, 2020
Palestinians burn tyres during a demonstration against a U.S. brokered Middle East peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 29, 2020Credit: AFP

The Israeli military struck several Hamas positions on Thursday, after explosives tied to balloons were floated into Israeli territory, and a sniper fired upon an Israel Defense Forces observation post, its spokesperson said.

This is the second tit-for-tat in two days following the release of the long-awaited Trump peace plan, and follows Palestinian reports of Israeli strikes hitting an open area near the city of Rafah, on the border with Egypt. 

On Wednesday, a projectile launched from the Gaza Strip fell in an open area near an Israeli border community, causing no damage or casualties. In response, the IDF struck "a number of Hamas terror targets" in the southern Gaza Strip, among them a weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructure. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the Israeli army announced it would bolster its forces in the West Bank and the Gaza division amid fears of violence following the unveiling of Trump's peace plan.

Several patrol troops have already been sent to the West Bank, after a Home Front Battalion was sent for reinforcements in Palestinian villages east of Nablus on Tuesday. 

Israeli soldiers shot and critically wounded a 15-year-old Palestinian in the head during clashes with the Israeli army Thursday in the northern West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum, according to the Red Crescent.

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