Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Fires break out in Gaza as the IDF carries out airstrikes on Gaza amid days of heavy rocket attacks on Israel. Gaza, May 13, 2021

The Regional Fire and Rescue Services Authority in southern Israel told reporters Thursday there were at least 13 fires in the sector; officials confirmed at least eight of those blazes were caused by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza.

Israel sent a message Wednesday to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization via Egyptian intelligence personnel that “the situation will escalate” if the incendiary and explosive balloon attacks and other violence did not stop.

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On Thursday, day three of a three-day series of arson terror attacks on Israel launched from Gaza, Israeli officials finally sent a message to Hamas saying, “Operation Guardian of the Walls 2.0 is approaching,” according to Israel’s Channel 13 News outlet.

Israeli officials subsequently said the Israel Defense Forces will respond to the continued incendiary balloon attacks. Military forces had refrained from any response to Wednesday’s attacks, despite the launch of at least 10 incendiary balloons into Israel earlier in the day.

Fruit Orchards, Wheat Fields, Forests Burn After Gaza Arson Attacks

Late Tuesday night the IDF bombed a number of Hamas terrorist positions in Gaza, where Hamas military personnel gather, in retaliation for the more than 26 fires started by Hamas in Israeli forests, wheat fields and fruit orchards.

IDF Attacks Gaza in Retaliation for Hamas Terror Balloons

All of the structures that were bombed were empty, and no casualties were reported.

Israel Unveils New Diplomatic-Security Cabinet

Israel’s newly reconstituted political-security cabinet will convene Sunday for the first time under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.