Fires Ravage Southern Israel amidst Hamas Ceasefire Efforts

September 26, 2018
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 | Eight fires broke out Saturday in the Gaza border communities as a result of incendiary kites and balloons being launched from the strip into Israel.

Firefighting crews, along with teams from the Nature and Parks Authority and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael [the official fundraising organization for Israel], gained control of the flames, which were later extinguished.

One of the fires started in the Nahal Bohu Park at the entrance to the southern city of Netivot.

The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] said Saturday that the Israel Air Force (IAF) hit an incendiary balloon cell in the Gaza strip in response.

On Thursday, an IAF aircraft attacked a terror cell in the northern Gaza that was launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory.

The strike was carried out in light of violent demonstrations along the southern border, which continued throughout Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement].

Earlier on Thursday, six fires broke out as a result of incendiary balloons and one fire was started by an incendiary kite.

On Friday, the clashes along the security fence had resumed, with thousands of Gazans massing at several points near the Israeli border.

The ongoing Hamas-led border violence comes in light of the arrival of senior Egyptian intelligence officials’ delegation in the Gaza Strip on Saturday for a brief visit as part of Egypt’s effort to renew talks on a long-term ceasefire arrangement with Israel.

Palestinian sources described the visit as “significant and crucial.”

The sources added that “Egypt’s main interest is to reach an intra-Palestinian reconciliation in accordance with President Mahmoud Abbas’s demand to remain the only Palestinian representative with whom any understanding can be reached regarding Gaza.”

However, according to the sources, Hamas wishes to reach an agreement with Israel for the sole purpose of taking credit for a possible lifting of Gaza blockade, while Egypt fears further escalation of hostilities if the agreement is not reached.

“Egypt views the dead end (in ceasefire talks with Israel) as pushing Gaza towards a dangerous military escalation on the border fence.

“Nevertheless, Egypt is not willing to promote calm only to please Hamas since it has bigger international and intra-Arab interests,” the sources explained.

Posted on September 26, 2018

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 22, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)