The Israel Defense Forces struck multiple Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Thursday morning in response to the ongoing cross-border arson attacks from the coastal enclave.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets, combat helicopters and tanks attacked a number of terror sites belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement.

“During the attack, a compound belonging to Hamas’s naval forces, underground infrastructure and observation posts belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization were attacked,” the statement said. “The attack was carried out in response to the launching of explosive and incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory over the past week,” according to the military.

Israeli officials reiterated the country’s stance that Hamas bears responsibility for everything that happens in and comes from Gaza.

Following overnight consultations with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday morning approved barring fuel imports to Gaza. The defense minister also approved the immediate reduction of the Gaza fishing zone from 15 to eight nautical miles.

“The decision was made in light of the repeated acts of terror from the Gaza Strip against Israeli civilians in recent days, which represent a violation of Israeli sovereignty,” the IDF said in a statement.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the measure to restrict fuel supplies a “grave act of aggression” that “aims to worsen the crisis of our people in the blockaded [Gaza] Strip.”

Palestinians prepare explosives and flammable materials to be attached to balloons and launched into Israel, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Aug. 8, 2020. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

On Tuesday, IDF jets, helicopters and tanks struck Hamas targets in Gaza to the wave of incendiary balloons launched into Israel from Gaza in recent days. Some 60 fires were started in the western Negev area by these attacks on Tuesday alone.

According to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, around 1,000 dunams (250 acres) have been destroyed by the recent attacks.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.