Israel strikes Hamas weapons factories in response to arson attacks

It was the third time Israel has carried out airstrikes in Gaza since the end of the 11-day war that Hamas started in May.

By Associated Press

Israeli fighter jets struck a weapons manufacturing site in Gaza overnight in response to incendiary balloons and arson attacks launched over the border into Israel, the military said early Friday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the strike, which targeted a facility used by the Islamic terror group Hamas to research and develop weapons.

It was the third time Israel has carried out airstrikes in Gaza since the end of the 11-day war that Hamas started in May.

Each came after terrorists mobilized by Hamas launched incendiary balloons that caused fires in nearby Israeli farming communities.

Over the course of the past three years, the terror group has used the tactic to cause millions of dollars of damage in Israel, killing wildlife and destroying dunam after dunam of nature preserves.

As a result, Israel has vowed to respond to even minor attacks.

Egyptian and international mediators have been trying to shore up the informal cease-fire that ended the most recent war. In recent days, Israel has eased restrictions to allow in Qatar-funded fuel, extend Gaza’s fishing zone and permit increased cross-border commerce.

Israel says such steps are contingent on Hamas preserving calm along the frontier.