A barrage of incendiary balloons started eight fires in southern Israel, hitting targets in Gaza for the second time this week
The IDF attacked what it said were Hamas military buildings and meeting spots for the militant organization's Khan Younis and Gaza brigades overnight Wednesday. Those airstrikes, the first since the ceasefire took effect last month, were in reaction to incendiary balloons that started 20 fires throughout southern Israel's farms.
The IDF carried out another wave of airstrikes late Thursday night, less than 48 hours later, as the launching of balloons from Gaza persisted. According to the IDF, military compounds and a Hamas launch facility were attacked.
Hamas did not reply to Wednesday's attacks with rocket launches, indicating that both Israel and Hamas were keen in avoiding a full-fledged escalation. The situation near the Israel-Gaza border, on the other hand, remains delicate, and a miscalculation by any side may spark a rapid and serious escalation in an environment that has yet to return to normalcy following last month's rage.
Incendiary balloons are simple contraptions made out of helium balloons that resemble children's birthday party decorations and are coupled to explosives or devices that are started on fire beforehand.
Despite the fact that militants have been flying balloons into Israel for years, Israel's reaction of airstrikes in Gaza marks a new escalation. It was part of a message to Hamas that any aggression would be dealt with force, according to Israeli authorities.