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

Incendiary balloons launched from Gaza earlier sparked four fires in Israeli border communities

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A fireball rises following an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, two weeks ago.
A fireball rises following an Israeli air strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, two weeks ago.Credit: SAID KHATIB / AFP

Israel attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Saturday morning after balloon bombs launched from the enclave had caused multiple fires in the country's south the previous day.

Israeli fighter jets struck a Hamas military base near the village of Jabalia as well as a rocket launch site belonging to the militant organization near the village, the Israeli military said in a statement.

"The attacks were carried out in response to the launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces will continue retaliating against terror attempts emanating from the Gaza Strip," the statement added.

Snow in Brazil, denial in Israel: Why extreme weather is the new normal. LISTEN

Explosive-laden balloons flown from Gaza on Friday started four fires in southern Israel.

Three of the fires broke out in Kissufim Forest near the Gaza border, and another raged in Be'eri Forest.

Hamas spokesperson Fauzi Barhum said Saturday that "Gazan youths' determination to launch incendiary balloons [into Israel] is proof that they are surrendering to the Israeli enemy."

Kissufim Forest, today.

Hamas resumed the launch of bomb balloons to exert pressure on Israel and Egypt to advance negotiations on allowing construction materials into the Strip after May's hostilities with Israel, Lebanon's al-Akhbar daily reported Saturday, citing Hamas sources.

Last week saw fires across Israel's border communities due to incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip. Israel retaliated by striking Hamas targets in the enclave and reducing Gaza's fishing zone. Israel has since dropped the constraint.

Hamas has recently threatened to resume the launching of incendiary balloons after the militant organization failed to reach an agreement with Israel on the transfer of Qatari funds and goods into Gaza.

Israel later announced it would allow goods into the Strip and Hamas has agreed that Israel and the United States will examine the list of families in Gaza who Hamas decided will receive a monthly stipend from Qatar as a condition for transferring the money.

Israel and the U.S. will ensure that the list of 160,000 families does not include Hamas militants or suspected of terrorism.

Since the end of the recent round of hostilities in May, Israel and Hamas – through Qatari and international mediation efforts – have been discussing the resumption of the humanitarian aid to Gaza, including grants to needy families.

The Qataris are proposing funding of $10 million to 100,000 families, though the number of families that signed up for the aid is almost 160,000.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism