Friday, 21 September 2018 | As firefighters sought to control nine new fires in southern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] targeted a squad of terrorists launching incendiary balloons, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
There were no reported injuries as a result of the air strike.
“Over the last few months, terrorists have been using balloons as a new terror tactic. How? They set them on fire, burning thousands of acres of Israeli land,” the IDF wrote in a tweet. “Moments ago, a terrorist squad launched arson balloons from Gaza into Israel. In response, we fired towards the squad.”
In addition to the nine reported fires on Thursday, four blazes were reported Wednesday, the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur.
The areas affected by the latest arson attacks were southern Israeli communities bordering Gaza, which is ruled by the terror group Hamas.
The use of incendiary balloons and other airborne objects is a tactic that had been used during the early months of the violent Hamas-led riots called the Great March of Return, but seemingly had been abandoned in recent weeks.
“The return of the fire balloons come as tensions along the Gaza–Israel frontier have ramped back up after a brief lull, with the Hamas terror group leading weekly marches on the fence,” the Times assessed. “The last several days have also seen smaller nightly protests along the border.” The renewed arson attacks have “sparked fears of children being injured by bombs placed on balloons or kites and launched over the border.”
The Gaza-based leader of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, admitted earlier this month that the impetus for the violent riots was to divert attention from internal Palestinian divisions.
Posted on September 21, 2018
Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on September 20, 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Israel Defence Force/Flickr
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