Israel carries out fresh airstrike in response to Palestinian arson balloons

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2021

The Israeli military has carried out another round of airstrikes on targets in Gaza, claiming the attacks are a response to incendiary balloons that have sparked fires in southern Israel.

The IDF said the sirens were triggered by "incoming fire, not rockets, from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory".

"Fighter jets attacked Hamas military complexes that served as camps and meeting places for terrorist operatives in the Khan Yunis and Gaza Brigades". The second wave of airstrikes were launched overnight Thursday to Friday as the balloons from the Palestinian side continued.

"The chief of staff, the military echelon and the head of the Shin Bet reviewed with the ministers Israel's great achievements in the campaign, some of which were unprecedented", a statement from the office of then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read.

Soon after, for the first time in almost a month, air raid sirens sounded the alarm in southern Israel when Gaza militants used heavy machine guns to fire across the border, the Israeli military said.

Gen. Kochavi told his forces to prepare "for a variety of scenarios including a resumption of hostilities, in the face of continuing terror activities from the Gaza Strip", the Israeli military said.

The conflict in May killed 260 Palestinians, including some fighters, according to Gaza authorities.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths, but the escalating violence threatens to unravel the tenuous May 21 truce that brought an end to 11 days of fighting that killed more than 250 people in Gaza and 13 others in Israel.

Cairo, along with the United Nations, are hoping to support the reconstruction of Gaza following a war that saw whole tower blocks reduced to smoking rubble and key infrastructure smashed.

He is the first top Israeli official to do so since the new coalition government headed by Bennett took over on Sunday.

Kohavi will discuss "common security challenges", an army statement said, including issues "related to the Iranian nuclear threat, Iranian regional entrenchment in the Middle East, (and) Hezbollah's force build-up efforts".

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