Israel strikes in Gaza in response to incendiary balloons

Young Palestinian men, masked in order to avoid being recognised, prepare a flammable object to be flown toward Israel, near the Israel-Gaza border east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 18, 2020. — AFP pic
Young Palestinian men, masked in order to avoid being recognised, prepare a flammable object to be flown toward Israel, near the Israel-Gaza border east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 18, 2020. — AFP pic

JERUSALEM, Jan 26 — Israel carried out air raids on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip late yesterday, in response to the launching of incendiary devices attached to balloons sent over from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.

“A short while ago, combat planes hit a number of targets of the Hamas terrorist organisation in the southern Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement.

Among the targets was an arms factory, the army added, stressing that the air raids were in response to the launching of the incendiary balloons towards Israeli territory.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2008, and Israel holds the Islamist movement responsible for all rocket fire coming from the territory, although it has targeted other militant groups there.

On Tuesday, Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians who crossed into Israel from Gaza and hurled an explosive device at soldiers, according to the army.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel, which maintains a crippling blockade on the impoverished territory. — AFP

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