Arson balloons from Gaza spark fires, terror groups threaten more

Firefighters battle brush fires ignited by incendiary balloons launched by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who threaten more attacks over Jerusalem flag march.

By World Israel News Staff

Terrorists in Gaza sent incendiary balloons into Israel that sparked at least 10 separate brush fires Tuesday and threatened that Israelis should expect more “flames and fire” in response to a flag march in Jerusalem scheduled to take place later in the day.

Israel’s National Firefighting Service reported that most of the fires in the Negev area near the Gaza border were not serious and were brought under control, but that all the fires were ignited by arson balloons launched by Palestinians in Gaza.

One of the terror groups in Gaza in charge of launching the arson balloons issued a statement saying it was “officially announcing alert among our ranks throughout the Strip, and we say to the settlers – wait for flames and fire.”

The Palestinians regularly refer to all Israelis as “settlers.”

The annual flag parade was canceled last month when Hamas terrorists fired a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem just before the parade was due to start. Despite Palestinian threats to react with violence, the march – which marks the anniversary of the city’s reunification during the Six Day War in 1967 – was rescheduled for Tuesday.

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On Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad terror group posted a statement on its website calling on Arabs “to mobilize … to confront the incursions of the Israeli occupation and its desecration” of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and “to confront the march of Zionist flags.”

“The Palestinian people are all united in the battle to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and they are ready at all times for a comprehensive confrontation,” the statement said, calling the flag march “a provocative act and a dangerous escalation that affects the most sacred sanctities, and an aggression targeting all Arabs and Muslims.”

Despite the claims, the flag march does not go the Al Aqsa Mosque, but only to the large plaza adjacent to the Western Wall of the ancient Jewish Temple, located below the mosque.

Both the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups regularly accuse Israel of “storming” the Al Aqsa mosque. They called for a “general mobilization in all cities, villages and camps inside the country” – inciting Palestinians to travel to Jerusalem “in preparation for facing any aggression against the sanctities.”

“We will not allow the occupation and herds of settlers to violate the sanctity of Al-Aqsa and the Islamic and Christian sanctities,” the terror group said, calling on Palestinian youth “to confront the settlers’ arrogance, and to thwart the march of the flags, to reaffirm that Jerusalem is ours, not the invading Zionists.”

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Israeli police brought in additional officers to block any confrontations with the flag march that was scheduled to begin around 5 p.m. local time in Jerusalem.