Fires in the Gaza Strip: “Significant response, even at the cost of escalation”

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After a tense morning on the southern border, incendiary balloon blooms from the Gaza Strip continue all the time and still cause fires in agricultural areas today • Report: The Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff met and decided on a significant response

Tensions in the south: Flowers of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip continue today (Sunday), and with them the fires in the surrounding fields. Recently, two fires broke out in the Eshkol Regional Council, causing great damage to agricultural land. Firefighters along with teams from the Jewish National Fund and the Nature and Parks Authority worked to put out the fires. A fire investigator from the Netivot fire station determined that the fires were caused by an incendiary balloon.

Meanwhile, Channel 12 military correspondent Nir Dvori earlier reported that Defense Minister Bnei Gantz and Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi held a discussion today regarding the ongoing tensions on the southern border.

Earlier in the day, workers who were active near the Gaza Strip border reported gunshots fired at them, apparently by terrorists across the border. Shortly afterwards, fire was also opened at an IDF force that was launched to the spot where the shots were reportedly fired. There were no casualties in the incident.

The IDF said that work on the fence was stopped and mortar fire was carried out in an attempt to screen the area and prevent further firing. The Eshkol Regional Council said that following a security incident on the perimeter fence in the northern part of the council, the army closed all roads leading to the perimeter fence. “From now until a new update – there will be no entrance to the fence area in the entire council sector, including agricultural work near the fence,” the council said.

The unusual incident comes against the background of the ongoing warming on the southern border. Even during Shabbat, terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued to launch incendiary balloons in the direction of the Gaza Envelope settlements and southern cities, after a long period of silence in which no unusual incidents were recorded on the southern border. One of the balloons to which a charge was attached exploded during a Saturday night in one of the neighborhoods in the city of Netivot and caused a great deal of panic. An inspection by a police sapper revealed that it was indeed an explosive item which, according to the suspicion, arrived using a balloon and exploded.

As you may recall, an incendiary balloon that was apparently launched by terrorists in the Gaza Strip was found by civilians last Thursday in the industrial area of ​​Arad. Large police forces were called to the scene. The police sapper’s inspection revealed that it was an explosive device with a delay mechanism. The police removed the civilians and neutralized the charge. In response, IDF aircraft attacked an underground infrastructure of the Hamas terrorist organization in the northern Gaza Strip.

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