Suspicious Balloons Found in Netivot Back Yard

gaza terror
An Israeli soldier seen near balloons released by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90, File)

A cluster of suspicious balloons with Arabic writing on them were found in the yard of a home in the southern Israeli community of Netivot Wednesday. Police were called and a bomb squad was dispatched to examine the balloons, and disarm any explosive devices connected to them. Numerous other balloon clusters and explosive devices have been found and disarmed in recent days in southern Israel, the IDF said. Officials attributed the balloons Tuesday to an attempted balloon terror attack by Gaza Arabs.

Police arrested an Arab who threatened a Parks and Nature Authority officer, and stole his weapon. The officer spied two vehicles that were driving in a protected forest area in the Golan late at night, and flagged down the vehicles. One of the drivers got out of his vehicle and confronted the officer.

He threatened to hit the officer, grabbed his gun, and got back into the vehicle and drove off. Police found the vehicle driving wildly on roads in the Upper Galilee and set up a roadblock, forcing the vehicle to stop. The driver, a resident of the Arab village of Arabe, as well as two other individuals were arrested. The second vehicle was found several hours later, and its owner was arrested as well. The remand for all the suspects has been extended until Friday.

Overnight Tueday, security officials said they arrested 11 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.