Incendiary balloon found in central city of Lod
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Incendiary balloon found in central city of Lod

Police urge public to stay away from suspicious objects, amid spate of airborne arson devices discovered in heart of country

Incendiary balloon found in the central Israel city of Lod, October 16, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)
Incendiary balloon found in the central Israel city of Lod, October 16, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)

Israel Police sappers were called Tuesday to respond to an incendiary balloon found in the central city of Lod.

The sappers neutralized the device.

Police reiterated instructions to the public not to touch or approach suspicious objects, including kites and balloons that may contain flammable or explosive material. Anyone who finds such an object should report it to the police call center and leave handling of the device to sappers, police said in a statement.

The tactic of sending airborne incendiary devices into Israeli territory has been used almost daily by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the start of weekly border protests there in March.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the balloon found in Lod was sent from.

Incendiary balloons found in Bat Yam on October 11, 2018. (Israel Police)

Gaza protesters have launched hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops, and killed livestock. Over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have carried improvised explosive devices.

There have been a number of incidents in which West Bank Palestinians appear to have copied the tactic, sending devices into Israeli communities and settlements.

On three occasions over the past month incendiary balloons have been discovered in Jerusalem, as well as in the courtyard of a home in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, and in the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam.

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