Israeli kindergarten burns, rioters harass at Gaza border, 30 fires reported

A fire consumed a kindergarten in Sderot after an arson balloon landed nearby.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Gaza terrorists and rioters continued to harass Israel on Monday, sending explosive and arson balloons into Israel causing some 30 fires. In the evening, dozens of rioters gathered at the Gaza Strip security fence.

A fire consumed a kindergarten in Sderot after an arson balloon landed nearby. The area was empty of children at the time and no injuries were reported.

In response, IDF tanks targeted a number of military observation posts belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Strip. It is the seventh week in a row that Israel has been forced to respond to Hamas violence.

Rafi Babian, in charge of security for the Sdot Negev Council, told Kan News said that “all indications indicate escalation.”

After several months of relative quiet, Hamas has upped the ante against Israel. The terror group started with arson balloons and soon added rioters at the border fence, organized by Hamas’ “harassment unit.”

Hamas has returned to its violent activities in order to pressure Israel to carry out economic projects that will benefit the Gaza Strip, and to ensure the continued flow of cash after a Qatari stipend of $150 million recently came to an end.

An Egyptian delegation entered the Gaza Strip to try and mediate a ceasefire on Monday.

In the closest call for Israel, early Sunday morning, a 58-year-old Israeli man was lightly injured by shrapnel when a Gaza rocket struck his patio in the city of Sderot.

Israel has struck a number of Hamas targets in the last few days. It seems to have little effect on the terror organization as it continues to send incendiary devices floating into Israel. For all its technical prowess, the Jewish state has so far been unable to find an effective response against the low-tech terror tool.

Israel’s Light Blade laser defense system, designed to intercept airborne threats launched from the Gaza Strip, was deployed operationally for the first time on Tuesday. However, it is clear it still needs to work the kinks out.

Also on Monday, IDF troops spotted a terrorist in Judea and Samaria who tried to hurl a Molotov cocktail towards the Rachel Tomb area. The terror attack was thwarted by the troops who responded with fire. A hit was identified.