The strikes were carried out in response to multiple incendiary balloons launched which led to some eight fires in Israeli communities near Gaza.
IDF strikes targets in Gaza, June 18, 2021. (Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)
The IDF attacked a number of targets in the Gaza Strip late Thursday night in response to a number of incendiary balloons that were launched from Gaza into Israel earlier in the day.
Early Friday morning, rocket sirens were heard in Kfar Aza along the Gaza border. The IDF later clarified that the sirens were not due to rocket fire but were likely the result of machine gunfire.
No injuries were reported. The IDF warned Gazan residents in advance of their attack of 10 Hamas targets in the Strip, N12 news reported. The strikes were carried out in Khan Yunis, which came in response to multiple incendiary balloons launched which led to some eight fires in Israeli communities near Gaza.
In response to arson balloons launched from Gaza into Israel, we struck military compounds and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas in Gaza.
The IDF has increased its readiness for various scenarios & will continue to strike Hamas terror targets in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/awnCMTcSD9
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) June 17, 2021
Fires were reported in the Sha’ar HaNegev area and throughout the Eshkol Regional Council area.
Tensions between Israel and terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have risen in the last three days, following a threat from Hamas to escalate attacks in response to the Jerusalem Flag March on Tuesday.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi held a security briefing with top commanders and instructed them to prepare for renewed fighting with Hamas. Israel and Hamas fought for 10 days last month in Operation Guardian of the Walls. Over 4,500 rockets were fired into Israel during the conflict.
A number of fires also broke out in southern Israel on Tuesday, with at least 20 fires sparked by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza. Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian media published photos of terrorists preparing to launch such balloons towards Israel.
A field on fire is seen after Palestinians in Gaza sent incendiary balloons over the border between Gaza and Israel, Near Nir Am (Credit: Reuters)