Israel responds to burning kites, balloons with rocket fire in Gaza

Israel responds to burning kites, balloons with rocket fire in Gaza

June 18 (UPI) — Nine Hamas targets in Gaza were attacked by Israeli fighter planes early Monday after Hamas rockets, and incendiary kites and balloons, fell on Israel.

The Israeli rocket attack struck military compounds and weapons productions facilities, the Israeli military reported. It came after three rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, with only two crossing the border.

The Israel Defense Force said the attack was a response to Hamas sending burning, oil-soaked rags over the border, attached to kites or balloons. The incendiary devices caused 17 fires after they landed in Israeli territory on Monday, the environmental group Jewish National Fund said.

The attacks, now in their fourth consecutive day, came at dawn and are accompanied by alarm sirens in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

The Israeli government said the kite and balloon attacks have caused $2.5 million in property damage to farmland since they began earlier this month.

Drones are used to intercept the devices, but some have been shot down, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

The IDF said one rocket fired into Gaza struck a car belonging to a group that launched the balloons into Israel.

“The IDF will act with growing determination against terrorist activities in all its different forms until they cease,” the agency said in a statement.