The IDF attacked a Hamas military position in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday morning in retaliation for a rocket that had been launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel and landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council (Gazans Hurl Explosives, Light Tires Along Israel’s Southern Border).
The Jerusalem-based Arab newspaper Al-Quds reported on Friday that the terrorist factions in Gaza had decided to reactivate the “nightly harassment” units and launch the explosive-carrying and incendiary balloons. As a result, the Israeli settlements on the Gaza border saw 10 fires break out from incendiary balloons on Saturday, one of which damaged a wheat field in the Eshkol Regional Council area. Full control of the fire was eventually achieved and most of the other fires were small and not dangerous.
Saturday was the third day in a row of incendiary terror from Gaza, the locals’ response to the tensions in Judea and Samaria, and the riots in eastern Jerusalem.
Egyptian officials held talks with Hamas in recent days to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a full-blown military confrontation. On Thursday, despite the security tension, $10 million from Qatar entered the Gaza Strip to be distributed to 10,000 needy families. There was a dilemma in Israel’s security apparatus as to whether to delay the money, but it was finally decided not to condition it on the Gaza folks stopping to burn down Jewish fields, nor the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers or the two living Israeli citizens held in captivity in Gaza. Because if the money is not distributed things would really go bad.
And so on Thursday, as the $10 million were let in, seven fires from incendiary balloons broke out in the Eshkol Regional Council area. All the fires broke out in open areas and posed no risk to council settlements. Still, a fire and rescue investigator for the Southern District determined that they were caused by incendiary balloons. Because records of these things must be kept.
After the launching of those incendiary balloons on Saturday the situation in the south continued to be particularly tense, with riots in which about 600 Arabs from Gaza participated breaking out in five spots along the Gaza Strip border fence. IDF forces used riot dispersing means, and full control was achieved in all those riots with no risk to the Israeli settlements.
Explosions were heard from Gaza Saturday evening, likely the result of explosives being exploded there.