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Israel strikes 'Hamas targets' in besieged Gaza over fire balloons Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel strikes 'Hamas targets' in besieged Gaza over fire balloons

Gaza is being besieged by Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 January, 2019

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Israel says it has conducted air strikes on Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel's army said it struck two Hamas posts in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday after balloons allegedly carried an explosive device over the border fence, but no injuries were reported.

The Gaza border fence has been relatively calm in recent weeks after a deal in which Israel allowed Qatar to provide aid for fuel and salaries in the blockaded enclave.

"Earlier today, an explosive device attached to multiple balloons was launched on a model airplane from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory," an Israeli army statement said.

"In response, (Israeli) attack helicopters targeted two Hamas military posts in the Gaza Strip."

A Hamas security source said one strike occurred east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip and hit an observation point for Hamas's armed wing, while the second was east of Gaza City.

The security source said no injuries had been reported.

Gaza border tensions have soared since the March 30 start of what the Palestinians call the "Great March of Return", a mass protest movement demanding the right for Palestinians to return to homes they fled or were expelled from during the war surrounding Israel's creation.

Protesters have often moved right up to the border fence every Friday and occasionally breached it.

At least 235 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly by Israeli fire during border clashes but also by air strikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

Agencies have contributed to this report.

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