(June 18, 2018 / JNS) Gaza Palestinians fired three rockets at southern Israel early Monday morning, after Israel targeted perpetrators of numerous arson attacks that have been coming from the Hamas-controlled area.
Two of the Palestinian rockets landed in Israel, while the third reportedly fell inside Gaza. No injuries were reported, but warning sirens were sounded in Hof Ashkelon and the Ashkelon industrial area at 4:40 a.m. and again shortly after 5 a.m.
The attack was the first rocket launching against Israeli civilians in over two weeks. The Iron Dome missile-defense system was not activated, indicating that the system determined the bombs would not fall in populated areas.
Prior to the attack, Israeli fighter jets struck three terror compounds and one weapons manufacturing plant in northern Gaza connected with Hamas. Video footage of the IAF attack on the weapons manufacturing facility showed a fireball and smoke resulting from the detonated munitions.
The IDF hit was conducted in response to the launching of hundreds of flammable and explosives-laden kites and balloons by Palestinians, which have burned tens of thousands of acres of agricultural and reserve lands over the past several weeks.
Israel has drafted civilian drone enthusiasts to fly drones into the kites in order to halt their progress. The method has met with some success, but has not put an end to the arson attacks.
On Sunday, an Israeli military official interviewed by Hadashot news said Israeli officials have not responded more harshly to arson attacks due to concern over escalation leading to all-out war.
At least 20 fires were started in Israel by the devices on Sunday, with one farmer losing a barn filled with turkeys, who suffocated as a result of smoke from the fires. Firefighters were dispatched to a home in Moshav Beit HaGadi in southern Israel after two balloons carrying suspected incendiary devices were found in a residential backyard tree, and another device was found in the suburbs of Sderot.
Seventeen fires broke out on Sunday as a result of the incendiary kites and balloons, with hundreds of turkeys suffocating to death in Ein HaShlosha from smoke inhalation.