Incendiary balloons land in backyard trees in south
Two Gaza-launched balloons carrying incendiary devices become entangled in branches in backyards of home in Beit HaGadi Moshav, while another three land in a tree in suburbs surrounding Sderot; IAF fires warning shots at balloon-flyers in Gaza as 17 resulting fires erupt in south.
An initial investigation revealed that the objected attached to the balloons, which were likely flown from the Gaza Strip into the moshav near Netivot, were incendiary devices.
Three more balloons, also affixed with incendiary devices that were flown into Israel from Gaza at around the same time, were found in a tree in the suburbs surrounding the southern city of Sderot. Firefighters and security forces were called to the scene.
Shortly after, the IDF announced that Israeli jets had fired warning shots at a group of Palestinians who were flying balloons carrying incendiary devices from south Gaza into Israel.
Palestinian reports claimed that a military drone had attacked a military outpost belonging to one of the military arms in central Gaza. However, it was not immediately clear whether the report was connected with the same attack.
Over the last few hours alone, 17 fires broke out in southern Israel as a result of the incendiary kites and balloons being launched from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Firefighting services said that three of the fires had erupted in the Kissufim Forest, situated in the northwestern Negev desert, with one breaking out on the Gaza border. By 6:30pm, firefighters had not managed to contain the flames.
Hundreds of turkeys were also said to have choked to death in south Israel due to smoke inhalation caused by the infernos.Earlier, four fires broke out as a result of the kites that have ravaged thousands of acres of Israeli farmland in recent months, with the main entrance to a kibbutz in the Eshkol Regional Council closing because of one of the blazes.
Also early Sunday morning, the IAF attacked the vehicle of one of the leaders of the incendiary kites and balloons cells in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian media reported the vehicle attacked by the IAF was empty.
The IDF Spokesman's Office said the strike was in response to the incendiary and explosive balloons and kites being launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip.
"In recent days, the IDF warned and carried out several attacks near the cells responsible for the arsons and destruction of lands in Israel. These are terror attacks that endanger the residents of southern Israel," the IDF said in a statement.
"The IDF is determined to continue acting with increasing force against these terror activities for as long as it takes and with a variety of tools. The Hamas terror organization is responsible for everything that happens in and from the Gaza Strip, and it will suffer the consequences."
The IAF also fired warning shots Saturday at a cell launching incendiary balloons, wounding two of them.