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World

Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza over incendiary balloons

  • Attack comes weeks after the 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza killed 256 people including 66 children
Updated 16 Jun, 2021

A Hamas radio station said an Israeli aircraft carried out strikes on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the first Israeli strike in the enclave since a ceasefire ended 11- days of cross-border fighting last month.

The attack followed the launching on Tuesday of incendiary balloons from Gaza which the Israeli military said caused some 20 blazes in open fields in communities near the frontier.

Hamas had threatened to take action in response to Israeli far-right groups' march through the occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday. In a statement, the Israeli military said it attacked Hamas training camps and that it was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza”.

It was not immediately clear if there were casualties due to the bombings.

Israel's new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, had said in the past that the Israeli government should not tolerate incendiary balloons, and must retaliate as if Hamas had fired rockets into Israel.

The airstrikes mark the first major flare-up between Israel and Gaza since a ceasefire on May 21 ended Israel’s 11-day assault, which killed 256 Palestinians, including 66 children.

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