Incendiary Balloon Attacks Continue Despite Reports of Hamas, Islamic Jihad Ceasing Strikes

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Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS on 20 January, 2020

By Benjamin Brown • 11 February, 2020

Israel on Tuesday was again targeted with incendiary balloons launched from the Gaza Strip, as news came of a Hamas and Islamic Jihad announcement about a pause in their campaign of launching incendiary balloons across the Gaza border into Israel.

Following the launch of over 35 balloons tied to explosive charges towards Israel on Monday, the decision to end the attacks was reached later that day after Egyptian mediation, according to Arab media reports.

An Egyptian delegation reportedly entered Gaza for the first time in five months, urging for calm and relaying ominous messages from the Israeli government following an increase in rocket and balloon attacks in recent weeks.

It remains unclear, however, if and to what extent the attacks have truly come to an end with incendiary balloons found in the Sdot Negev Regional Council and the city of Ashkelon on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett had issued stern warnings to Hamas following the escalation of attacks on Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.

Netanyahu stated that Israel is “prepared to take devastating action against the terrorist organizations in Gaza. Our actions are very strong and they have not yet ended, to put it mildly.”

Bennett held a situation assessment at the IDF’s Gaza Division headquarters, during which he warned that Hamas’ “reckless conduct is bringing us closer to deadly action against them.”

“We will not announce when or where. The action will be very different from its predecessors, no one will be immune,” he threatened.

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