Riots in northern Gaza
Photo: AFP
Suspicious balloon found near Ashkelon as Gaza riots continue
Sappers close off main highway between Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat as balloon suspected of being affixed with flammable object lands in area rarely affected by incendiary balloon phenomenon; incident comes shortly after firefighters battle with four fires near the border fence and after some 4,000 Palestinians participate in violent riots in northern Gaza.
A suspicious balloon was discovered overnight Monday near the Givati Junction between Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat—a distant area in which incendiary balloons launched from Gaza have rarely landed.



Route 232 was temporarily closed while sappers arrived at the scene to investigate the device.


Riots in northern Gaza (Photo: AFP)
Riots in northern Gaza (Photo: AFP)


Earlier on Monday, firefighters battled with four fires near the Gaza border region that were caused by incendiary balloons.


Some 4,000 Palestinians participated in riots in the northern Gaza Strip, as crowd hurled rocks, Molotov Cocktails and launched fireworks at IDF soldiers who responded with riot-dispersal techniques.


 (Photo: Ronen Ha'Melech)
(Photo: Ronen Ha'Melech)


Boats anchored on Gaza’s main port also set sail toward Israel, prompting IDF soldiers to fire warning shots into the air.


Last Friday, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported Friday that seven people, including three teenagers, aged 12, 14 and 18, were killed and at least 90 wounded by IDF fire during violent clashes that erupted along Gaza Strip's frontier with Israel.


 (Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)


Some 20,000 demonstrators assembled at several locations near the border fence in response to calls by Hamas, who had recently promised to escalate border violence in order to advance the indirect ceasefire talks with Israel, which have reportedly collapsed.


It was the largest demonstration held in Gaza since the March of Return protests began six months ago.


 (Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)


The police also located an incendiary balloon overnight Sunday near the Ligad industrial zone in Modi'in, prompting sappers to naturalize the flammable object. Neither casualties nor damage were reported.


Itay Blumenthal, Elior Levy and Matan Tzuri contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 10.02.18, 09:10
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