Israeli aircraft said to fire near Gazans flying burning kites
search

Israeli aircraft said to fire near Gazans flying burning kites

No injuries reported as a result of warning shots, which come as incendiary devices launched from Strip spark three blazes in Israel

Illustrative: Gazans load balloons with flammable material to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border in al-Bureij, central Gaza Strip on June 14, 2018. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
Illustrative: Gazans load balloons with flammable material to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border in al-Bureij, central Gaza Strip on June 14, 2018. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Israeli military aircraft fired warning shots Saturday near a group of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launching incendiary devices toward Israel, Palestinian media reported.

There were no reported injuries as a result of the warning shots east of Gaza City.

The reports came as burning objects flown from Gaza sparked three fires in southern Israel.

Firefighters were working to extinguish the blazes.

On Friday, 10 fires broke out in the Gaza periphery during the day as a result of the flaming balloons and kites. All the blazes were extinguished.

The fires came as Palestinians took part in clashes on the Gaza border for a thirteenth consecutive week, with the Hamas-run health ministry reporting 206 injured.

The army said two grenades were thrown during the clashes toward Israeli troops at the border fence near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. No soldiers were injured.

Reports put turnout at Friday’s violent protests in the low thousands, a steep drop from participation at the height of the rallies and riots, when tens of thousands took part.

Tear gas is fired at Palestinians taking part in clashes and burning tires along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza City, on June 22, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

Since March 30, Palestinians in Gaza have launched hundreds of kites and helium balloons bearing flammable materials, and occasionally explosives, sparking near-daily fires that have burned thousands of acres of land in southern Israel.

The Israeli military has carried out multiple warning strikes in recent weeks at groups of Gazans preparing to launch incendiary devices toward Israel. The army has said repeatedly that it will act to prevent the launch of the airborne incendiary devices and explosives.

Israeli leaders on Wednesday evening warned the Hamas terrorist group, which rules Gaza, and other terror groups in the Strip, that the military was prepared to take more intense offensive action as well.

“The intensity will increase as necessary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a graduation ceremony for new IDF officers. “We are prepared for every scenario, and it’s best that our enemies understand this right now.”

“The steel fist of the IDF will strike hard at anyone who attempts to harm us,” he added.

Israeli leaders were split on how to respond to those responsible for the airborne arson attacks, with some calling for the IDF to shoot the kite flyers and balloon launchers on sight, while others argued that this was a step too far.

In recent days, the military has attempted to force Hamas to rein in the aerial arsonists by carrying out airstrikes on the organization’s positions in response to kite and balloon attacks.

read more:
comments