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Qatari envoy leaves Gaza as fire balloons spark 23 blazes in south

The Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip is leaving the Palestinian enclave through the Erez border crossing with Israel, according to local reports.

Video on social media shows Mohammed al-Emadi’s convoy as it makes its way to Erez.

Al-Emadi arrived in Gaza earlier this week, bringing cash for the 2 million residents of the Strip and trying to broker a ceasefire.

His trip to Gaza comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Hamas-ruled territory, with Palestinians in Gaza flying waves of arson balloons across the border in recent weeks, sparking wildfires in southern Israel. There has also been occasional rocket fire. The Israel Defense Forces has responded to the violence with nightly retaliatory strikes on Hamas targets.

According to the Walla news site, Al-Emadi spoke today with Israeli security officials about Hamas offers to calm the tensions with Israel.

So far today, there have been 23 fires in southern Israel sparked by balloon-borne incendiary devices flown from Gaza, according to Hebrew media reports.

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