Israel strikes Gaza as incendiary balloons ignite fire in Israeli home

Hamas voices conflicting explanations for weekend wave of terror balloons.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

The IDF struck Hamas targets in Gaza on Saturday night after a wave of arson balloons sparked fires in southern Israel, including a fire inside an Israeli home.

Hamas voiced conflicting explanations for the weekend wave of terror balloons.

Arab media reports citing unnamed Hamas figures said the balloons were to pressure Israel and Egypt on allowing construction materials into Gaza. Hamas has also in the past threatened to launch balloons if a compromise on allowing Qatari funds to be transferred to Gaza isn’t found. Palestinian Authority banks have delayed money transfers to the Strip.

But a statement issued by Ahfad an-Nassar, the Hamas balloon unit, said the balloons were launched in solidarity with Lebanon. Earlier on Friday, Hezbollah fired 19 rockets at northern Israel.

The balloons ignited four brushfires in two nature reserves near the Israel-Gaza border. The balloons continued on Friday night, triggering a fire in a house on Kibbutz Beeri. No injuries were reported and local residents put out the fire.

In response, Israeli Air Force jets hit a Hamas base and rocket launching site near the village of Jabalia.

The IDF said it would “continue to respond with strikes to terror attempts from Gaza.”