Israel Strikes Targets in Gaza in Response to Explosive-laden Balloons

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A fireball rises following an air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, late Monday night.
A fireball rises following an air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, late Monday night.Credit: SAID KHATIB - AFP

The Israeli army launched airstrikes in Gaza on early Tuesday morning in response to the launching of explosive-laden balloons into Israeli territory, the IDF said in a statement.

Israeli fighter jets attacked Hamas sites, including a rocket launching site and a military compound in Khan Younis, where a concrete plant  used to build terrorist tunnels is located, the statement said.

The spokesperson added that the compound is located in a civilian area including near cultural sites and mosques. "This is further evidence that Hamas is deliberately carrying out its activities among the civilian population in the Gaza Strip," the army said.

"The IDF will continue to respond strongly to terrorist attempts and sees the terrorist organization Hamas as responsible for everything that is happening in the Gaza Strip."

The attacks were carried out in response to the launching of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory earlier.

Three fires broke out in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Sunday afternoon due to the launching of explosive-laden balloons from Gaza.

Hamas launched over a dozen incendiary balloons into Israel on Saturday, after Palestinian factions in the Strip vowed to intensify their activity along the border with Israel in protest of what they say is "Israel's footdragging" on transferring Qatari aid money to impoverished families. 

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