At least three fires broke out in southern Israel Sunday afternoon which Fire and Rescue Services investigators attribute to explosive-laden balloons launched from the Gaza Strip.
The blaze flared up across several fields and woodlands in Eshkol Regional Council following weeks of relative calm along the Gaza border.
"Our teams have been operating along with local officials to extinguish fires caused by incendiary devices attached to balloons," the fire department said.
After the 11 days of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist factions in Gaza in May and since the establishment of the new government the following month, Israeli leaders said that any incendiary balloon attack would be answered with a harsh military response due to the risk they pose to the security of local civilians.
After a spate of fires earlier this month attributed to Gaza militants, Israel carried out several strikes against Hamas military targets in the Palestinian enclave.
Approximately 10 acres of woodlands have been consumed by fires in the Western Negev area at the beginning of July and officials said some areas would require decades to recover.
The Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas has been demanding more humanitarian aid be allowed into the seaside territory for what they called reconstruction efforts after the damage caused by Israeli strikes during the fighting in May.
Hamas has also demanded financial aid from Qatar be allowed into Gaza but the Israeli government has blocked the transfer of the funds as the parties were holding ceasefire talks mediated by Egypt. Israel conditioned the release of the money on until Hamas to a prisoner swap deal involving to bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in action in 2014 and two Israeli civilians believed to be held in Gaza.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said efforts to resolve the humanitarian crisis were underway,
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been locking horns with Israel on the Gaza issue over the past decade, indicated he was willing to mediate talks between Israel and Hamas as part of his efforts to mend ties with Jerusalem, the country's ambassador to Washington and close ally of the Turkish leader Hasan Murat Mercan revealed earlier this month.