Israel Strikes Vehicle, Outpost Used by Incendiary Balloons Launchers in Gaza

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Fire raging near Gaza border communities, June 26, 2018
Fire raging near Gaza border communities, June 26, 2018Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Israeli military said it struck Tuesday a vehicle and an observation post in northern Gaza used by a group of Palestinians to launch incendiary balloons into Israel.

According to reports in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli drone fired at a group of young Palestinians east of the Shujaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza City. No casualties were reported. In addition, reports said a young Palestinian man was shot east of Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza. Shootings at a group of young Palestinians was also reported east of al-Tufah neighborhood, with no casualties reported. 

Firefighters in Israel reported that since Tuesday morning, 9 fires erupted in the Israel-Gaza border area. 

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Israel recently began targeting burning kite and baloon launchers from the air. On Sunday, the Israeli military conducted four such strikes. The IDF said it conducted an airstrike in Gaza on a vehicle carrying a group of Palestinians was preparing to launch incendiary balloons in the southern strip. 

An Israeli drone is seen in action over the border between Israel and Gaza during a protest on the Gaza side, June 8, 2018.Credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Shortly after, Palestinians reported two additional strikes on Hamaspositions in the Bureij refugee camp carried out by Israeli drones and shells.

Three Palestinians were wounded in the strike, according to Palestinian officials, though no details on their condition were released. The army reportedly conducted a fifth strike on Palestinians prepping flaming kites and balloons shortly after.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that Israel might be forced to launch a "large-scale military operation" in Gaza. Erdan added that those launching burning kites from Gaza should be shot regardless of their age: "age doesn’t matter, they're terrorists and the danger they create must be prevented." 

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