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Israeli Airstrikes Hit Hamas Targets in Gaza Over Fire Balloons
Masked Gazan Palestinians prepare incendiary balloons to launch across the border fence east of Gaza City toward Israel, on June 16, 2021. Isarel has responded to the balloons with airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza. (Fatima Shbair/Getty Images)

Israeli Airstrikes Hit Hamas Targets in Gaza Over Fire Balloons

The Israel Defense Forces struck 10 military targets of Hamas in the Gaza Strip late Thursday night. The attacks in Khan Younis near Gaza City were in response to the launching of balloons laden with explosive devices over the border that sparked at least eight fires in southern Israel on Thursday.

Prior to the Israeli airstrikes, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said during a security briefing that the military should be prepared for a resumption of hostilities from Hamas in Gaza, the IDF said in a statement. He also said that the IDF “will continue to destroy terrorist infrastructure throughout Gaza and it views Hamas as being responsible for what happens in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas, which calls the incendiary balloons part of the popular uprising and not a violation of the current cease-fire, threatened to resume rocket fire on Israel if the airstrikes continue.

Dozens of acres of fruit tree and wheat fields have been burned during the three days of attacks by incendiary balloons, which Hamas says are in response to the nationalist flag march held in Jerusalem earlier this week.

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