Incendiary balloon lands some 20 kilometers from Gaza
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Incendiary balloon lands some 20 kilometers from Gaza

No injuries or damage caused by airborne device, which lands in Lachish region; second flaming object said to spark fire in border area

Illustrative: A balloon carrying a suspected explosive device from the Gaza Strip touches down in southern Israel on February 20, 2019. (Eshkol Security)
Illustrative: A balloon carrying a suspected explosive device from the Gaza Strip touches down in southern Israel on February 20, 2019. (Eshkol Security)

An incendiary balloon apparently launched from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday landed in the Lachish region, some 20 kilometers from the Palestinian territory.

A police sapper was called to defuse the object, which landed in an open field. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Airborne incendiary devices flown from Gaza usually land within the immediate area around the coastal enclave and are rarely reported to travel such distances.

A second incendiary balloon launched from Gaza meanwhile sparked a small fire after landing in the Eshkol Regional Council, according to local officials.

The incidents came as a tense calm returned to southern Israel and Gaza following intense fighting between the army and Palestinian terror groups earlier in the week.

The violence started after a rocket fired from Gaza struck a farming community in central Israel early Monday, leveling a home and injuring seven people.

A rocket from the Gaza Strip that struck a home in the central Israeli town of Mishmeret on March 25, 2019. (Israel Police)

Israeli warplanes subsequently carried out dozens of bombing runs and Gazans fired some 60 projectiles at southern Israel, with the violence only waning before dawn Tuesday.

Two more projectiles were fired at Israel overnight, prompting further Israeli raids in the Strip, but there we no additional rocket launches or retaliatory strikes Wednesday.

Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza, had announced an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal Monday evening, but Israeli officials have denied such an agreement.

The latest violence came as the army braced for potential large-scale clashes along the Gaza border over the weekend to mark a year since the start of the so-called March of Return protests, which began March 30, 2018.

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