צרור בלוני נפץ באזור שדרות
Balloons with explosive device dispatched from Gaza
Photo: Israel Police
Balloon with explosive device dispatched from Gaza

Two incendiary balloons detonate near Gaza border

Airborne explosive devices cause vast disruptions to traffic as police halt train transportation, close off major highway to defuse suspected bomb

Matan Tzuri |
Updated: 02.03.20 , 21:43
At least nine balloons carrying explosive devices sent from the Gaza Strip were spotted on Monday near the border with the coastal enclave, 2 of which detonated.
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  • Train traffic was temporarily brought to a halt in the evening hours to allow police to defuse a suspected explosive.
    Earlier Monday, police closed access to the Cross-Israel Highway as sappers disarmed other balloons.
    Balloon carrying explosive device explodes near Gaza border (Photo: Netiv HaAsara security)
    One balloon carrying an explosive device detonated mid-air and another next to a residential home in Kfar Aza near the Gaza Strip border.
     שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול
    Balloon with explosive device dispatched from Gaza
    (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council)
    No injuries were reported in any of the day's events.
     שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול
    Balloon with explosive device dispatched from Gaza
    (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council)
    Security forces estimate some balloons are not immediately identified and may remain undetected in the fields. Police have issued warnings to residents to stay away from any suspicious objects and call first responders immediately.
     שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול
    Police sappers respond to balloon with explosive device dispatched from Gaza
    (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council)
    Gaza factions have been using balloons, some with incendiary devices and some with explosives, for more than two years.
    Security officials noted that as missile capability of the terror groups in the Strip improves, so do the devices sent over by balloons become increasingly dangerous.
    The explosives now include, reportedly, small iron balls and more explosive material and are intended to cause more injuries and damage.
    Many of the balloons are condoms that are more resilient and therefore more effective. Unlike the colorful balloons, condoms are harder to detect.
     שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול שלושה בלוני נפץ אותרו ליד ישוב באשכול
    Explosive device dispatched by balloon from Gaza
    (Photo: Eshkol Regional Council)
    Late on Monday Hamas announced it would begin to dispatch balloons carrying tear gas grenades that will detonate upon landing in Israeli territory.
    Tensions are on the rise along the Gaza border despite Israel having sent clear messages to Hamas that the increase in missile fire and continued dispatching of explosive balloons could lead to another round of fighting.
    Hamas is seen to indicate the group is not satisfied with the pace of implementation of some of the understandings reached with Israel through Egyptian mediation and are increasing tensions in order to exert pressure on Israel and Egypt.
    Residents near the border say they have had enough: "The government must understand it is time for resolute action."
    First published: 20:48 , 02.03.20
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