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Israeli warplanes strike Hamas targets

Palestinians in the Gaza strip fly incendiary balloons towards Israel, June 4, 2018 Palestinians in the Gaza strip fly incendiary balloons towards Israel, June 4, 2018 Reuters: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

27 January 2020

Israeli warplanes strike Hamas targets in Gaza in reaction to incendiary balloons  

On Saturday, January 25 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted a weapons manufacturing site and a military compound for intelligence collection in Gaza. At this time, no injuries have been reported. This was in response to the launching of incendiary devices attached to balloons from Gaza. That previous Thursday, January 23, five bundles of balloons tied to explosives were found in southern Israel. These balloons contained flammable materials with the intent to cause fires in Israeli agricultural fields near the Gaza Strip. 

In a released statement, “the IDF views very seriously any activity or sabotage of any kind towards Israel’s territory and will continue to act as necessary against attempts to harm its citizens.” It continues, “the Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for everything that occurs inside the Gaza Strip, and it will carry the consequences of the terrorist acts carried out against Israeli citizens.” A Hamas official told the Associated Press that individuals are sending the balloons, not Hamas. Though, he stated that he felt “satisfied” and that “if the occupation doesn’t pick up the message” he is ready to send more. 

Israel and Egypt currently keep the Gaza strip under a tight blockade. Restricting ease of access for the some two million Palestinians currently living in the territory began in the early 1990s. This intensified in 2007 when the Islamist political organization and militant group Hamas, viewed as a terrorist organization by much of the West, violently took over. As truce understandings have stalled, tensions have risen and Palestinians have resumed the use of explosive balloons. On January 21, three Palestinian youths were killed by the Israeli army with competing narratives as to the exact nature of why the Israeli military shot them.


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Author: Rachel Warner; Editor: Teagan Foti


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