Incendiary balloon lands on Israeli road, IDF fires warning shots
Road temporarily closed down in south Israel after a group of Palestinians fly incendiary balloon into vehicles' path; after Palestinian reports claim Israeli drone attacked the group, IDF confirms warning shots were fired using a plane, vows to prevent use of flaming devices.
The incident took place in the vicinity of the Bureij refugee camp near the same spot where Israeli jets hit infrastructure a day earlier, after discovering that a terror cell was working on preparing incendiary balloons to be flown into Israel.
According to initial Palestinian reports, an IDF drone attacked the cell as tensions simmered ahead of expected weekly riots that have gripped the border.
Shortly after, however, the IDF clarified that it had fired warning shots using military aircraft at the cell that was flying improvised explosive devices in the direction of Israeli vehicles.
“We carried out warning shots using an aircraft against the cell in southern Gaza that was flying incendiary balloons toward cars,” the statement said.
“The IDF views with great severity the use of incendiary kites and balloons and will act to prevent their use,” it added.
Roads were blocked in certain areas as a result of the incendiary balloon, prompting security forces to arrive at the scene and neutralize it.
In a separate incident, the IDF also arrested earler a Palestinian who tried to breach the border security barrier in northern Gaza.
Security checks revealed that the suspect was not armed and he was taken in for questioning.
Israel’s southern residents and IDF soldiers are expecting a renewal of violence on Friday afternoon on the Gaza border, with threats emanating from the Hamas-ruled enclave to send 5,000 incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.
The expected round of rioting comes despite last Friday marking the conclusion of a series of national Palestinian commemoration days for what they say was a loss of their ancestral homelands.
Despite the expected drop in numbers, however, security forces are expecting a spike in the Gazans’ dispatching of incendiary kites and balloon, assisted by small drones, which have consumed thousands of acres of Israeli farmland over the course of the riots.