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Israel targets Palestinians launching ‘fire balloons’ from Gaza

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel, officials said.  

An Israeli military spokeswoman said an “aerial device” had fired at a group near the Gaza border that was launching “fire balloons” carrying flammable material into Israel. 

Palestinian security sources said a drone had fired on people east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Two people were wounded, according to Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry. 

Some twenty fires were started Saturday by balloons and kites carrying flammable material from the enclave over the border fence and into Israel, Eli Cohen, spokesman for fire brigades in southern Israel, told AFP. 

Since major border protests broke out on March 30, more than 300 fires have been recorded, he added. 

At least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span. 

No Israelis have been killed. 

On Wednesday, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians in Gaza — under Israeli siege for more than a decade. 

Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families fled or were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.

Israel says any such return would mean the end of it as a Jewish state and accuses Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas of using protesters as human shields.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and observe a tense ceasefire.

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