Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90
A fire from an incendiary balloon destroyed a field in kibbutz Nahal Oz on the border with the Gaza Strip (archive).

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced that the defense establishment is “preparing for a wide and surprising campaign” in the Gaza Strip. He added: “I prefer that there be calm, but we have no illusions that it is possible to reach a political agreement with the bunch that want to wipe the State of Israel off the map.”

Earlier, a Hamas man was killed on the Gaza Strip border by IDF fire and the terrorist organization threatened retaliation. According to Ha’aretz, citing a source inside the Strip, the man was trying to prevent two young men from crossing through the fence when he was shot by an IDF sniper.

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The IDF denied knowledge of this wrinkle in the incident, insisting instead that the fire was directed at armed Arabs who were getting too close to the fence.

At a meeting of the Knesset Foreign and Defense committee on Thursday, heads of the municipal councils near the Gaza Strip attacked GOC Home Front Command Tamir Yedi’i saying the Netanyahu government was failing to provide their residents with a sense of security.

Sderot mayor Alon Davidi stated at the meeting: “We need an extensive operation like Protective Edge to restore peace. Each two-day operation only causes unrest and frustration among the residents.”

After the 2014 operation Protective Edge, which inflicted widespread damage and resulted in the death of thousands of Arabs, the Gaza area remained relatively peaceful for four years, until, in the spring of 2018, Hamas began the weekly Friday riots at the border fence, which were mixed with several bouts of rocket launches that added up to some 700 hits inside Israel. To those, the Hamas eventually added thousands of incendiary balloons which cause devastation in the fields of Israeli communities.

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