Israeli Army: Defense System Activated After Projectile Launched From Gaza

Two devices explode over southern Israel after balloons carried them over border from Gaza

An Iron Dome interception in the Gaza border area, July 2018.
אילן אסייג

The Israeli army said it activated the Iron Dome missile defense system on Wednesday evening when a projectile was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

In addition, two devices exploded over a southern Israeli community after balloons carried them over the border from the Gaza Strip, the Eshkol Regional Council said.

No casualties were reported and no specific instructions were given to residents, the council added. Rocket sirens could be heard throughout the region.

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Early Thursday morning, the Israeli military confirmed that IDF fighter jets and aircraft struck military targets in a Hamas compound in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the projectile launch. 

On Tuesday, the Israeli air force struck a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip in response to earlier launches of incendiary balloons into Israel. Recently, Hamas has not only resumed launching incendiary balloons over the border into Israel, but it has upgraded them to carry bombs.

Also on Tuesday, a delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials arrived in the Gaza Strip in an attempt to mediate between Israel and Hamas and defuse a possible escalation into further violence.

Israeli forces have recently intensified their response to violence along the Gaza border. The launching by Gaza Palestinians of incendiary balloons and the use of explosives at nighttime demonstrations near the Israeli border are now being answered with tank shelling on Hamas positions along the border.