The IDF Spokesman reported around 2:30 AM Wednesday that “a short while ago, IDF fighter jets, fighter helicopters and tanks attacked a number of terrorist targets of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.”
“During the attack, a military compound, underground infrastructure and observation posts of the Hamas terrorist organization were attacked,” the IDF spokesman continued. “The attack was carried out in response to the launching of explosive balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory over the past week. The IDF views severely every terrorist activity against Israeli territory and will continue to act as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli citizens. The terrorist organization Hamas bears responsibility for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli citizens.”
If the announcement above appears as if it was copied and pasted from many identical announcements it’s because it most likely was. Israel continues to be stumped by the incendiary balloons that have caused millions in damages to agricultural fields, natural forests and nature preserves in the Gaza Envelope communities.
On Tuesday, dozens of incendiary balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip, causing 60 fires everywhere in the Gaza Envelope – a record number of fires in one day. This is the sixth day in a row that incendiary balloons have been launched from the Gaza Strip to Israel.
To date, only one Israeli defense minister—Naftali Bennett—has found a solution to this problem, by targeting and killing the members of balloon launching squads. But his wise and effective policy was quickly abandoned for fear of international reprisal. As if the IDF is killing innocent children who are happily flying their party balloons.
Kan 11 News reported Tuesday night that the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, spoke with senior officials in Qatar, for ways of returning the quiet to the area before the unavoidable escalation in the hostilities. The Mossad was involved in the transfer of Qatari money to the Gaza Strip, which brought a relatively long—though spotty—peace and calm in the south. It’s nothing short of paying protection money to your neighborhood villain, and it works.
Israel wants to make sure that Qatar will continue to transfer money in the coming months, beyond August. Hamas resumed launching those dangerous incendiary balloons into Israeli territory after Qatar ahd announced it would halt economic support for the residents of the Gaza Strip. A security source suggested on Tuesday that the balloons were launched following an explicit Hamas directive.
It was also reported that the IDF is preparing to step up measures against Hamas, and that Israel has been sending clear messages to Hamas, saying: restrain the balloons or we will exacerbate our response.
The IDF’s options in the Gaza Strip is also a copy & paste job: reduce or close down Gaza’s fishing zone, close the Kerem Shalom crossing to fuel shipments as well, attack Hamas infrastructure, and, when all else has failed, shoot and kill the incendiary balloon launch squads.
There’s always the much cheaper response of lining up an Artillery Corps battery alongside the Gaza Strip border and bombarding for five minutes after every balloon launch. À la guerre comme à la guerre.