JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli war planes attacked several Hamas terror sites in southern Gaza in response to incendiary balloons being launched from Gaza into southern Israel.
The airstrikes late Saturday night included a weapons manufacturing site and a military compound used for the collection of intelligence, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. No injuries were reported.
“The IDF views very seriously any activity or sabotage of any kind towards Israel’s territory and will continue to act as necessary against attempts to harm its citizens,” the IDF statement said. “The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything that occurs inside the Gaza Strip, and it will carry the consequences of the terrorist acts carried out against Israeli citizens.”
Palestinian groups in recent days again began to launch balloons carrying explosives from Gaza into southern Israel. One balloon discovered last week carried a soccer ball filled with explosives in an effort to entice children to touch it. Another balloon that landed Saturday appeared to be carrying an RPG, or rocket propelled grenade. That balloon made it to Sde Boker, located about 25 miles from the Gaza border.
A Hamas official told The Associated Press that the balloons were not a coordinated effort, but that individual Palestinian Gazans upset by the living conditions in Gaza due to Israel’s blockade were launching the balloons. Hamas, however, is “satisfied” with the launches, he told AP.