The Israeli army said it struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday following the launching of incendiary balloons from the Palestinian enclave into Israeli territory.
• Read also: Israel closes entry of goods to Gaza after incendiary balloon fire
“Combat jets, attack helicopters and tanks hit a number of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement, saying it had targeted “underground infrastructure and post offices. observation of Hamas “in” retaliation “for the increase in the fire of incendiary balloons towards Israel.
In recent days, incendiary balloons have been launched several times from the Palestinian enclave into Israel, which has led to Israeli retaliatory strikes against positions of Hamas, the ruling Islamist movement in Gaza.
Israeli firefighters have reported about 60 fires caused by these balloons in southern Israel on Tuesday alone, without however reporting any casualties.
On Tuesday, Israeli authorities announced the indefinite closure of Kerem Shalom’s cargo crossing point between the Hebrew state and Gaza Strip except for “essential humanitarian aid and fuel.”
“This decision was taken because of the incessant launching of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip towards Israel,” the Israeli body responsible for civilian operations in the Palestinian Territories (Cogat) said in a statement, which accuses Hamas of to be “responsible” for these throws from the enclave of two million inhabitants.
Hamas, for its part, denounced an “aggressive” measure testifying to Israel’s “insistence” on “besieging” the population of the Palestinian enclave and which could only contribute to “worsening” the humanitarian situation.
According to Palestinian analysts, the shootings from Gaza are aimed at putting pressure on the Jewish state to give the green light for the entry of financial aid from Qatar into the impoverished enclave and under Israeli blockade.
While Kerem Shalom’s goods crossing point has closed, the Rafah border post between Gaza and Egypt, closed in April due to the pandemic, reopened for three days on Tuesday.
Hamas and Israel have fought three wars (2008, 2012, 2014). Despite a truce last year, favored by the UN, Egypt and Qatar, the two sides clash sporadically with rockets, mortars and incendiary balloons from Gaza and reprisals from the Israeli army .