IDF Hits Terror Targets as Hamas Expands Range of Balloon, Kite Attacks

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli firefighters extinguish a fire at a field caused from kites flown by Palestinian terrorists, near the border with the Gaza Strip, last week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

IDF forces hit nine terror targets in Gaza early Monday, the IDF spokesperson said. Among the targets hit were a weapons workshop in northern Gaza, as well as an area used by Hamas to launch terror kites and balloons laden with flammable material at Israeli targets.

Earlier, Hamas fired three rockets at Israel. Two of the rockets fell in open areas, and one fell inside Gaza. Red Alert warning sirens were sounded in several areas near the Gaza border fence, and in the Ashkelon industrial zone. No casualties were reported from the rockets or airstrikes, b’chasdei Shamayim.

An illustrative map depicting the military targets that were struck within the Gaza Strip. (IDF Spokesman)

Meanwhile, Hamas showed no signs of letting up in its terror campaign. Twenty-one fires were recorded in the Gaza border area on Sunday. The fires burned dozens of dunams of wheat and forest area. Four of the fires broke out in Kibbutz Kissufim and the Beeri forest, while at Kibbutz Ein Hashloshah, hundreds of turkeys choked to death due to smoke inhalation, caused by a fire that broke out near the structure they inhabited.

In recent days, Hamas has seemingly extended the range of its terror balloons and kites. Residents of Sederot and Netivot have reported seeing balloons in their area, and in the town of Beit Hagadi, near Netivot, two balloons with explosives attached were discovered. They were neutralized before they could explode.

In Sederot, meanwhile, a resident found a kite in his backyard when he arrived home. He brought the kite to local police, who discovered an explosive attached. The explosive was neutralized safely.

A weekend report said that Hamas may using balloons filled with helium – a gas that was not used until now – to extend the range of the balloons.

Israeli officials quoted by Hadashot News said that the helium to be used in the balloons that is available in Gaza was allowed into the Strip for medical purposes. The IDF said that that use of helium meant for hospitals in terror attacks was another example of “the cynical use of resources meant for Gaza civilians for its terror attacks.”

A report in the Jerusalem Post last week said that the kites in Gaza had been donated by the Japanese government for recreational use by children in Gaza.

The IDF said in a statement Monday that “in recent days the IDF has warned terrorists and carried out attacks against groups responsible for the destruction of Israeli crops and forests, and we have carried out attacks against facilities for staging these attacks. The fires caused by the terror balloons and kites endanger residents of southern Israel and have damaged a great deal of land. The IDF has the intelligence and capabilities to strengthen its attacks, and will do so as required. The IDF is determined to act against these acts of terror until they stop.”