Incendiary balloon found in settlement north of Jerusalem

Police examine suspicious object in Givat Ze’ev and take it away for investigation; no damage or injuries reported

Incendiary balloon discovered in West Bank settlement of Givat Ze'ev, October 26, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)
Incendiary balloon discovered in West Bank settlement of Givat Ze'ev, October 26, 2018 (Police Spokesperson's Unit)

A balloon carrying an incendiary device was discovered Friday in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem, Israel Police said in a statement.

Bomb disposal experts arrived at the scene to examine the suspicious package the balloon was carrying before taking it away for investigation, police said.

There were no reports of injuries or damage in the incident at Givat Ze’ev, which is located about five kilometers north of the capital. This is the second time this month that an incendiary balloon has been found in the settlement.

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, but it is unlikely this balloon device was launched from the coastal enclave.

An suspicious device, apparently an incendiary, attached to balloons, which was found in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol, October 25, 2018. (Israel Police)

Gaza protesters have launched hundreds of such 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.

On four occasions over the past month suspicious balloons have been discovered in Jerusalem, as well as in the courtyard of a home in Givat Ze’ev, and in Lod and the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam.

Police reiterated a call for the public to be extremely careful around any such objects — balloons and kites — as they could contain dangerous explosive or inflammatory material.

Anyone who finds such an object should report it to the police call center and to leave handling of the device to sappers, the statement said.

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