Another cluster of explosive balloons has arrived in central Jerusalem, this time in the neighborhood of Ramat Eshkol, home to many young, observant Jewish families with many small children. The balloons – which landed at around 5 pm local time – were a festive pink color with white Arabic writing, guaranteed to attract the attention of any unwary little girl on the street.
They were attached to a deadly explosive primed to explode in the face of anyone who touched it.
Israel Police officers and bomb squad sappers arrived swiftly and after examining the improvised explosive quickly took it away for further investigation. The police called upon the public to exercise extreme caution with regard to all suspicious objects – be they kites or balloons – which may contain explosives or other flammable materials that could endanger public safety.
“The public is asked to report any suspicious object to the “100″ Israel Police Emergency Hotline and to leave dealing with such objects solely to the police and bomb squad,” the police spokesperson said.
This is at least the third time a terror balloon has landed in Jerusalem in the past couple of months. In all cases, it was clear the perpetrators were not flying the balloons from Gaza, but rather from a source far closer — most likely either from Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem itself, or from within the Palestinian Authority territories.
Earlier this month, Israel police and its sappers were called to a construction site on Emek Refaim Street of Jerusalem on Wednesday morning following reports of an incendiary balloon found in that area.
Two days before that, residents of the town of Givat Ze’ev, a small suburban town between Jerusalem and Ramallah, discovered what appeared to be the remains of an incendiary balloon, similar to the ones launched into Israel from Gaza, in a back yard of one of the town’s houses.