Terror Balloons from Gaza Spark More Than 40 Fires over Weekend

Israeli fire fighters and soldiers attempt to extinguish a fire in a kibbutz caused by a incendiary balloon launched by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
AP/Tsafrir Abayov

TEL AVIV – Incendiary balloons flown over the Gaza border sparked more than 40 fires in southern Israel over the weekend, the most since Hamas declared a ceasefire last month. 

The IDF on Saturday struck terror cells in charge of launching the arson balloons from the northern Gaza Strip.

The distance travelled by balloons is increasing, with one found by the city of Beersheba, more than 30 miles away.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish some 30 fires near the border Friday.

The incendiary devices, which have included kites, birthday balloons and even condoms, have destroyed more than 7,500 acres of land and caused millions of shekels in damages.

Israel holds the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas responsible for the arson attacks.

Hamas is reported to be mulling a ceasefire deal with Israel, brokered by Egypt, according to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.

As part of the deal, the blockade on Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt would be partially lifted in return for an end to the incendiary devices and the ongoing border violence.

Hamas must commit to “the end of the provocations along the border, or in other words, the phenomena of the flaming kites and balloons, border crossing operations and setting fire to border posts,” the report said.


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