The balloon terrorism has seen a gradual increase over the recent weeks with nearly dozens of fires started on a daily basis by incendiary balloons flown from the Hamas-ruled enclave into nearby Israeli communities.
The latest upgrade in what has become an entire arsenal of terror tools for the Palestinian factions in Gaza is to soak a slow-burning fuse in explosive liquids and attach it to an incendiary balloon. The balloon drips fireballs as it flies, creating several ignition points from just one device.
The new method has been discovered by Israeli military after no remnants of actual balloons had been recovered at several ignition zones in the Gaza border region. For instance, on Tuesday there were three fires in three different locations (relatively close to each other) of Kissufim Forest in the Eshkol Regional Council, but the firefighters found no traces of physical balloons in the affected area.
"The Palestinians see this upgrade as a success story. This threat should not be taken lightly, and although it sounds non-threatening, it is certainly dangerous and can be lethal," said one of the security coordinators of the communities bordering the Strip.
On Wednesday evening, the IDF took the rare step of completely closing the Gaza Strip’s offshore waters to Palestinian fishermen until further notice in response to incendiaries launched into Israel in recent days.
Soon afterward, Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel from Gaza that was intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system, the Israeli military said.
No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the early Thursday rocket fire, which apparently was a response to the sealing off the fishing zone.
Associated Press contributed to this report