Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas sends incendiary balloons

Photo: AP Workers remove the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. The building was damaged last month during an 11-day war between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza.

The Israeli air force launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip early Wednesday after militants in the Palestinian territory sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel, news wires reported. According to Palestinian sources, Israel's air force targeted at least one site east of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younes. The Israeli Defence Force said that in response to the "arson balloons", its "fighter jets struck military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organisation.

The incendiary balloons, which local firefighters said caused around 20 fires in southern Israel, were sent as more than a thousand ultranationalist demonstrators bearing Israeli flags poured into Jerusalem's flashpoint Old City on Tuesday.

The airstrikes and balloons marked the first major flare-up between Israel and Gaza since a ceasefire on 21 May ended 11 days of heavy fighting that killed 260 Palestinians, according to Gaza authorities, and 13 people in Israel, the police and army there said.

Wednesday's strikes also were Israel's first against Gaza since a new coalition government took over on Sunday night, ousting PM Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 years in power.

Similar articles

  • Israel starts offering 3rd Covid shot to older citizens

    Israel starts offering 3rd Covid shot to older citizens

    Israel’s PM Naftali Bennett on Thursday announced that the country would offer a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who have already been vaccinated, news wires reported. The decision makes Israel, which launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination drives earlier this year, the first country to offer a third dose of a Western vaccine to its citizens on a wide scale. The move comes at a time of rising infections and signs that the vaccine’s efficacy dwindles over time.

    46
  • Tunisia Islamist party counters president

    Tunisia Islamist party counters president

    The leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party and speaker of parliament that his party is working to form a “national front” to counter President Kais Saied’s decision to suspend the legislature, fire top government officials and take control of the fragile democracy amid the country’s multi-layered crisis.

    33
  • Lebanon names billionaire businessman as PM-designate

    Lebanon names billionaire businessman as PM-designate

    Leading Lebanese businessman Najib Mikati secured enough votes in parliamentary consultations on Monday to be designated the next prime minister, raising hopes for an urgently needed viable government to tackle a crippling financial crisis, news wires reported. Mikati said he would work to form a government and implement a French plan to save the country from its crippling financial crisis.

    42