Incendiary balloon lands in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood
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Incendiary balloon lands in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood

Police sappers called in to neutralize device, which falls in construction site for kindergarten near Emek Refaim

An incendiary device attached to a balloon that landed in a construction site near Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem, October 10, 2018. (Israel Police)
An incendiary device attached to a balloon that landed in a construction site near Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem, October 10, 2018. (Israel Police)

Israel Police sappers were called in Wednesday to neutralize an incendiary device attached to a balloon that landed in a construction site for a kindergarten in the heart of Jerusalem.

Officers and sappers were dealing with the device and collecting evidence at the site near Emek Refaim Street, the main road in the upscale German Colony neighborhood in the capital.

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.

Wednesday’s device was the third to land in Jerusalem in recent months, Hadashot TV news reported.

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.

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.

Suspected incendiary balloon discovered in Modiin, October 1, 2018 (police spokesman’s unit)

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 Monday, police neutralized a similar incendiary balloon discovered in the courtyard of a home in the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem.

Last week a suspected incendiary balloon was discovered on a highway close to the Modiin industrial zone in the center of the country.

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