(August 18, 2020 / JNS) Israeli fighter jets and aircraft struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday in response to the ongoing wave of arson attacks on Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The strikes targeted “underground infrastructure in the Gaza Strip belonging to the Hamas terror organization,” according to an IDF statement. “The attack was carried out in response to the launching of incendiary and explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory during the day,” the statement continued.
Multiple incendiary devices have been launched into Israel daily over the past week, causing dozens of fires to break out in the western Negev region. Two rockets were also launched at Israel from Gaza early Sunday morning. Both were downed by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, according to the military, but shrapnel hit a home in Sderot, causing extensive damage and lightly wounding a 58-year-old man.
The IDF has responded with repeated strikes on Hamas military sites, and Israel also temporarily closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, as well as the Gaza fishing zone, in an effort to stem the barrage of arson attacks.
Egyptian mediators that entered Gaza on Monday to try to calm the situation failed to secure a ceasefire agreement. Adel Abdelrahman, a Gaza-based adviser to the Egyptian mediators, told AP that the mediators had crossed into Israel without any signs of an agreement, which is usually announced before the mediators leave.
Even as the mediators were in Gaza, terrorists in the Hamas-ruled enclave continued the barrage of arson attacks on Israeli communities in the western Negev.
“Throughout the day, explosive balloons were launched from Gaza into Israel, and earlier this evening, dozens of Palestinians in Gaza instigated riots along the security fence with Israel,” tweeted the IDF on Monday. “In response, our tanks just targeted Hamas observation posts in Gaza.”
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