Israeli military again strikes Gaza after reports of ‘incendiary balloons’ sparking fires

A masked Palestinian supporter of the Al-Nasir Salah Al-Din Brigades prepares incendiary balloons to launch across the border fence east of Gaza city towards Israel, on June 16, 2021 east of Gaza City in Gaza. The flare-up came after a controversial flag-waving march by Israeli nationalists was allowed to proceed through East Jerusalem on Tuesday, stoking tensions in Israel and Gaza less than a month after a ceasefire ended 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces.
A masked Palestinian supporter of the Al-Nasir Salah Al-Din Brigades prepares incendiary balloons to launch across the border fence east of Gaza city towards Israel, on June 16, 2021 east of Gaza City in Gaza. The flare-up came after a controversial flag-waving march by Israeli nationalists was allowed to proceed through East Jerusalem on Tuesday, stoking tensions in Israel and Gaza less than a month after a ceasefire ended 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces.

The Israeli military has carried out another round of airstrikes on targets in Gaza, claiming the attacks are a response to incendiary balloons that have sparked fires in southern Israel.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said it struck “military compounds and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas in Gaza.”

Israeli media reported that the IDF struck 10 targets near Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun after more than a half-dozen fires were reported near the border with Gaza.

The strikes come just two days after the IDF bombed targets it said was associated with the Hamas militant group, again citing “incendiary balloons” being sent across the Palestinian territory’s border.

Last month, days of Israeli airstrikes killed more than 200 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 60 children. The Palestinian territory, which is ruled by the Hamas militant group, has been subject to a years-long blockade.

This is a developing story.

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