Israel bombs Gaza over Hamas’ war alert
Israeli warplanes have bombed the Gaza Strip for the nine consecutive night after alleging that Palestinians had fired a rocket into southern Israel.
The latest attacks came as Israel warned Hamas, the group that governs the Strip – it was risking “war” by failing to stop incendiary balloons being launched across the border.
Hamas security sources said Israeli warplanes and drones struck several facilities that belong to the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement.
The Israeli army air raids and artillery attacks caused severe damage to security posts and wounded several people but no deaths were reported.
In a statement released shortly before midnight (21:00 GMT), the Israeli military said “fighter jets and other aircraft struck additional Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip”.
“Earlier tonight, a rocket was fired and during the day, explosive and arson balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” it said.
Israel bombs Gaza over Hamas’ war alert
During the strike, a military compound belonging to one of the special arrays of the Hamas terror organisation was struck.
Egyptian security officials shuttled between the two sides in a bid to end the flare-up, which has seen more than a week of rocket and fire balloon attacks from Gaza and nightly Israeli reprisals.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin issued a warning to Hamas during a visit to firefighters in the area who said they were called out to 40 blazes caused by Palestinian incendiary balloons on Tuesday.
“Terrorism using incendiary kites and balloons is terrorism just like any other,” Rivlin told them, according to a statement from his office.
“Hamas should know that this is not a game. The time will come when they have to decide … If they want war, they will get war,” Rivlin added.
The Egyptian delegation was expected to return to Gaza after those talks were concluded, the source added.
A Hamas source told the media that talks were held with an Egyptian delegation in Gaza on Monday before it left the territory for meetings with the Israelis and the occupied West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.
Israel bombs Gaza
House in Sderot were damaged by Israeli tanks who attacked Hamas military as a retaliation for explosive-laden balloons launched from the enclave.
The Israeli military struck Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip multiple times amid rocket fire from the enclave, while a house in Sderot was damaged by what appeared to be a fragment from a rocket interception, on the night between Thursday and Friday.
Overall, there were three airstrikes throughout the night and 12 rockets were fired.
In light of tensions, Israel ordered to suspend all agricultural work in fields bordering Gaza on Friday.
Emergency services said three Israelis were suffering from shock after an unexploded rocket fell on a house in Sderot, while a woman was hurt when running to safety.
The military responded with airstrikes on what it said was underground Hamas facilities, stating that seven rockets had been fired and that six were intercepted.
That came after an airstrike targeted a Hamas military target, which included a rocket-building site, according to the military, in response to the firing of three rockets that were intercepted.
Earlier in the night, the military struck targets in Gaza after two rockets launched from the enclave landed in open areas and caused no damage.
Earlier Thursday, Israeli tanks attacked Hamas military positions in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for explosive-laden balloons launched from the coastal enclave into Israel, the army said in a statement.
On Wednesday, firefighting and rescue services said that balloon bombs sent from Gaza ignited 28 fires in the Sha’ar HaNegev and Eshkol regional councils near the border fence.
Most of the fires, report stated were small and did not pose danger.
However, a police sapper was called to the scene to defuse a balloon which was found to be attached to a suspicious object located near a house in Eshkol.
On Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets attacked several underground Hamas targets in the strip after incendiary balloons caused multiple fires in the country’s south.
Earlier, 19 fires broke out in southern Israel after incendiary balloons were launched into Israeli territory from the enclave, the Israel Fire and Rescue Services said.