Girl finds explosive device in yard of Gaza-border home

In separate incident, part of Route 6 closed to traffic after suspicious object found on the road

Balloons carrying an incendiary device floats after being released near Gaza's Bureij refugee camp, along the Israel-Gaza border fence, on February 10, 2020. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
Balloons carrying an incendiary device floats after being released near Gaza's Bureij refugee camp, along the Israel-Gaza border fence, on February 10, 2020. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

A girl in Moshav Shuva east of the Gaza Strip found an explosive device in her yard on Sunday that appeared to have arrived via balloon from the Hamas-controlled enclave.

The police were called and detonated the device.

Also on Sunday, part of Route 6 was closed to traffic by police after a suspicious object was found on the highway.

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip began flying explosive and incendiary devices into Israel using clusters of balloons and kites beginning in 2018. The practice has waxed and waned over that time, but has picked up considerably in recent weeks, with dozens of such balloon-borne bombs landing in towns and farming communities adjacent to the Palestinian enclave.

Over the weekend, the IDF attacked targets in retaliation for rocket strikes against Israeli towns.

The army later announced that it had canceled the reissuing of some 500 permits allowing businessmen out of Gaza, an increase of the size of the permitted fishing zone, and an agreement to allow cement to be imported into the Strip.

These measures had been agreed to by Israel in exchange for the cessation of attacks, an Israeli defense official told reporters on Thursday.

Saturday’s rocket fire came amid reports of an emerging ceasefire between Israel and terror groups in the Strip. The potential breakthrough between Israel and the terror group came after the Egyptian military and the United Nations intervened last week, sending in delegations on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, according to Palestinian reports.

Masked Palestinians prepare an incendiary device with what appears to be gas canisters and balloons to be flown into Israel, near the Israel-Gaza border east of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, January 22, 2020. (Ail Ahmed/Flash90)

A Hamas official told a Lebanese newspaper on Saturday that the terror group had only decided to reduce the number of incendiary balloons launched toward Israel, not stop them entirely. This came after an Israeli defense official told reporters that Hamas had “sent messages to Israel that they’d decided unilaterally to stop launching balloons and rocket fire at Israel.”

The Lebanese pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper, citing an unnamed Hamas official, said that the number of launches would be reduced only after Israel met the group’s demands.

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