Israel attacks targets in Gaza after Hamas sends incendiary balloons

June 15, 2021, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Palestinian Territory: Israeli ultranationalists wave flags during the March of the Flags near Jerusalem's Old City celebrating the anniversary of Israel's 1967 occupation of Jerusalem's eastern sector on June 15, 2021 (Credit Image: © Baraah Abo Ramouz/APA Images via ZUMA Wire Photo: Baraah Abo Ramouz/APA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa

Israeli fighter jets have targeted Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip for the first time since a ceasefire with Hamas halted recent escalations in fighting.

The Israeli military tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday that the bombardments were in response to incendiary balloons sent from Gaza into Israeli territory.

Security sources in Gaza said several explosions were heard in the territory. No one was injured but two Hamas military posts sustained heavy damage, they said.

The sources said the incendiary balloons were sent as a Palestinian protest against the announcement of a flag march through Jerusalem.

The controversial march saw some 5,000 Israeli nationalists march through Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The route passed through the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, which Palestinians saw as a provocation.

Two fires that fire brigades say were caused by suspected incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip left large areas of burnt grass in southern Israel ahead of the march, according to videos.

Palestinian militants have repeatedly sent balloons laden with explosives and incendiary devices across the the border into Israel to cause damage.

An 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip last month ended with a ceasefire brokered by Egypt that came into effect on May 21.

The flag march that marks Jerusalem Day in Israel had originally been planned for May 10 but was cancelled due to Hamas rocket attacks.

The conflict saw 13 people killed in Israel, according to Israeli authorities, and 255 deaths in Gaza, according to Palestinian accounts.


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