Army Missile Falls in Israeli Community During Gaza Strike, No Casualties

Strike comes amid spike in tensions as balloon launches and cross-border incidents resume following lull

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Israeli army dud lands in kibbutz Holit, southern Israel, August 12, 2020.
Israeli army dud lands in kibbutz Holit, southern Israel, August 12, 2020.

An unexploded missile fired from an Israeli jet striking Gaza fell in the country’s south in the early hours of Wednesday due to a technical error, the military said in a statement.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the dud will be removed from the area, adding that the incident will be investigated. No casualties were reported.

The dud fell in Kibbutz Holit, causing only material damage to some dog cages and a building there.    

The scene where the dud fell, kibbut Holit, August 12, 2020.
The scene where the dud fell, kibbut Holit, August 12, 2020.

Military planes, helicopters and tanks struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the launching of balloon bombs across the border, the military said. 

The government announced this week that it would shut the Kerem Shalom crossing on the border with the Gaza Strip, in response to the resumption of the balloon launches.

After a lull of several months amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in the region, Palestinians in Gaza have resumed launching incendiary balloons across the border fence, leading Israelis living near the border to fear a new security flare-up.

Hamas spokesperson Fauzi Barhum said in response that “The continued escalation triggered by Israel and the harm it inflicts on Hamas positions are proof of Israel’s aggression and crimes, which will not break the spirit of the Palestinian people.”

Soldiers attempt to put out a fire in southern Israel on August 11, 2020.
Soldiers attempt to put out a fire in southern Israel on August 11, 2020.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Over the past week, the army has attacked a few Hamas targets in Gaza, as it has on previous occasions of balloons being launched.

The balloon launches began around a year and a half ago, when Gazans started holding weekly demonstrations along the border.

There have been other recent security incidents, too. On Sunday, for instance, Gazans shot at Israeli soldiers who had come to evacuate civilian workers building a new border fence after the workers reported hearing gunfire. And last week, a rocket was fired at Sderot, though it was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

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