Photo Credit: Fadi Fahd/Flash90
An Arab squad filling up incendiary balloons with helium that was shipped from Israel to Gaza hospitals, August 21, 2020.

The IDF announced on Sunday morning that it had used tanks to attack military positions of the Hamas terrorist organization in the southern Gaza Strip in response to the balloon terror that had been going on for the past day.

Shortly after four in the morning, the IDF attacked Hamas’ al-Khalil post on the east side of Gaza City as well as another observation post with two missiles. About an hour later, Hamas fired six rockets at Israel, and in response, the IDF attacked Hamas’ Badar outpost in Netzarim with six rockets.

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At least 23 fires broke out Saturday throughout the Gaza Strip as a result of incendiary balloons fired from the Gaza Strip.

The daily Al-Quds reported Saturday that Qatari envoy Muhammad al-Amadi, who had left Gaza, was expected to meet with several senior security officials in Israel, having met with the Hamas leadership several times in recent days in an attempt to restore calm and bring the positions of the two sides closer together.

According to Al-Quds, Hamas is insisting on its demands for electricity, water, infrastructure and international projects, including the promised American hospital. In addition, they demand that Israel provide the Gaza Strip with everything it needs to fight the coronavirus.

Over 72 hours last week, 37,000 calls were made by Gaza residents to the 109 local hotline on the coronavirus. The Gaza Health Ministry announced that 31 new corona patients had been discovered over the last day in Gaza outside the enclosed isolation centers. There are total of 146 known corona patients in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Quds quoted hamas sources that say Israel insists that all the attacks from Gaza be stopped, including the launching of incendiary balloons, before any Israeli step is taken regarding opening the crossings and letting in fuel shipment for electricity supply and other needs.

Al-Amadi is expected to return to the Gaza Strip Sunday night after midnight, depending on the results of his meetings in Israel during the day.

Senior Hamas official Hamad a-Rakeb said Saturday night that this time the terror organization “does not intend to withdraw until the siege on Gaza is lifted.” According to him, on previous occasions, Israel evaded the implementation of its obligations after mediators had given their word that it would meet its obligations, but to no avail.

On Saturday, Hamas officially protested the speech of UN mediator Nickolay Mladenov last Tuesday at the UN General Assembly. Mladenov said that launching rockets and incendiary balloons at population centers was a violation of international law and should be stopped immediately.

On Saturday, Mladenov declared: “Palestinian military operatives must immediately stop firing rockets and flaming devices. Israel must once again allow the entry of UN fuel tanks for electricity in the Gaza Strip.”

Mladenov referred to rockets and “flaming devices” in the same breath, which supported Israel’s demand that the two forms of attack be stopped as a condition for the resumption of shipments of fuel and other goods into the Gaza Strip.

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