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Israel Strikes Hamas Target over Suspected Incendiary Balloons
A wheat field just inside Israel burns in May 2018 following an attack by incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel Strikes Hamas Target over Suspected Incendiary Balloons

Israeli aircraft bombed what Israel called “underground infrastructure belonging to the Hamas terror group in the northern Gaza Strip” overnight between Thursday and Friday. The attack came after three brush fires were ignited on Thursday just inside southern Israel by suspected incendiary devices sent from the Palestinian enclave beneath helium-filled balloons. The Gaza Strip is run by Hamas and has been the launching site for previous incendiary and explosives-laden balloons, as well as rockets and mortar fire. The most recent rocket was launched on Sunday night, being intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. Also on Thursday, authorities found an explosive device beneath a balloon that came to earth near Arad, some 50 miles from the border with the Gaza Strip. Investigators said its source remained unclear. Following the nighttime Israeli airstrike near Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted: “The State of Israel won’t accept any violation of its sovereignty or harm to residents of the South. If the terror organizations still don’t understand, whoever tests Israel will be hit hard.”

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