Israeli Army Defuses Explosive Charge Near Gaza Strip Border

Unlit incendiary balloons found near a playground in the southern city of Kiryat Gat, several balloons launched from the Strip located in Eshkol Regional Council ■ No damage or casualties reported

Israeli police bomb squad officer in Kiryat Gat, Israel, September 14, 2018
Israeli Police Spokesperson

Israeli security forces defused an explosive charge located near the Gaza Strip border fence, Israeli army Spokesperson's Unit said Friday. This marks the second time a charge has been defused this week along the border of the Strip.

Police also reported that unlit incendiary balloons were found near a playground in the southern city of Kiryat Gat, and several balloons launched from the Strip were located in Eshkol Regional Council.

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The charge was disarmed in the early morning hours of Friday near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, after it was identified earlier this week. No casualties or damage was reported. In a separate incident, an improvised pipe bomb was thrown at Israeli security forces near the fence.

Israeli army spokesperson held Hamas responsible for the explosive charge and said the organization "continues to try and harm the defense infrastructures and security forces in the fence perimeter while using the citizens of the Gaza Strip as a shield and guise for terrorist activities."

Israeli police called on the public to "show vigilance and responsibility and not touch suspicious items such as balloons and kites of unknown origin." The statement added that in such cases, citizens must call the police, drive onlookers away and leave the scene to the care of a trained bomb squad officer.