IDF Strikes Hamas After Explosive Devices Launched From Gaza Into Israel

The explosive devices were attached to balloons, Israeli military says

FILE PHOTO: An explosion is seen during Israeli air strikes in Gaza January 22, 2019
\ AHMED ZAKOT/ REUTERS

The Israeli military said Saturday evening that it struck Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip after balloons carrying explosive devices drifted from the coastal enclave into Israel.

The announcement came a day after the weekly protest along Gaza's border with Israel passed without incident.

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The Israeli air force struck several targets in Gaza on Wednesday night after an airborne incendiary device damaged a home in the Eshkol region of southern Israel.

The military said attack helicopters and fighter jets struck a military compound used by Hamas in the central Gaza Strip.

"The Hamas terror organization bears responsibility for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip or emanating from it, and for all the consequences of terrorist activity originating in the Gaza Strip," a military statement said.

Last week, Israel attacked a Hamas outpost in response to the first airborne firebomb launched from Gaza since November.

A senior Hamas political official told Haaretz last week that the organization did not want to go “all out” against Israel, so as to allow Egyptian-mediated talks to continue. However, Hamas said that Israel has been trying to impose quiet on the Strip by means of Qatari money, and senior Hamas officials said recently that the organization would not stop the protests at the border fence in exchange for the money.