IDF said on Wednesday that it has conducted strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the launch of balloons carrying incendiary devices from the enclave towards Israeli communities.
At least 60 fires were reported on Tuesday believed caused by incendiary devices sent from Gaza.
"Fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks hit a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip," the IDF said in a statement, saying it targeted "underground infrastructure and observation posts.
In recent days, incendiary balloons have been launched repeatedly from the Palestinian enclave into Israel, which has led to Israeli retaliatory strikes against the positions of Hamas, the ruling Islamist movement in Gaza.
Israeli firefighters reported about 60 fires caused by these balloons in southern Israel on Tuesday alone but did not report any casualties.
On Tuesday, Israeli authorities announced the indefinite closure of Kerem Shalom's goods crossing point between the Jewish state and Gaza Strip except for "essential humanitarian aid and fuel."
"This decision was taken because of the incessant throws of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip towards Israel," the Israeli body responsible for civilian operations in the Palestinian Territories (Cogat) said in a statement, which accuses Hamas of to be "responsible" for these throws from the enclave of two million inhabitants.
Hamas, for its part, denounced an "aggressive" measure testifying to Israel's "insistence" to "besiege" the population of the Palestinian enclave and which could only contribute to "worsening" the humanitarian situation.
According to Palestinian analysts, the shootings from Gaza are aimed at putting pressure on the Jewish state to give the green light for the entry of financial aid from Qatar into the impoverished enclave.
While Kerem Shalom's cargo crossing point has closed, the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, closed in April due to the pandemic, reopened for three days on Tuesday.
First published: 08:23 , 08.12.20