Israeli military has carried out another overnight raid on Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip after saying incendiary balloons were launched from the Palestinian enclave.
The Israeli army said it struck a “weapons manufacturing site and a rocket launcher belonging to Hamas” late on Saturday.
According to security sources and witnesses in Gaza, fighter jets struck the facilities west of Gaza City and in the northern strip, with no immediate reports of casualties.
— Maha Hussaini (@MahaGaza) July 3, 2021
There was no immediate indication as to which Gaza-based group was responsible for the balloon launch, but Israel holds Hamas – the group that governs Gaza – responsible for any action.
“The strikes were made in response to the arson balloons fired towards Israeli territory,” said a statement from the Israeli army.
On Thursday, four small fires caused by incendiary balloons from Gaza were extinguished in the Eshkol region, according to fire services.
Israel retaliated early on Friday with airstrikes, which the army said struck “a weapons manufacturing site” belonging to Hamas.
The latest attack comes just weeks after the Israeli military launched an 11-day bombardment campaign on the already ravaged enclave, killing at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
In Israel, 13 people, including two children, were killed by rockets fired from Gaza, the police and army said.
Saturday’s overnight raid was the fourth time Israel carried out air attacks in Gaza since the May offensive, which ended in an Egyptian-brokered “ceasefire” on May 21.
Though Israel eased restrictions last month to allow some much-needed aid into the Palestinian enclave, it has maintained a 14-year crippling land, air and sea blockade.
The UN has dubbed Gaza an “open-air prison” with residents enduring extreme poverty amid conditions that have worsened since the coronavirus pandemic.