Israel Strikes Gaza Strip in response to arson balloon attacks

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The Israeli air force has launched multiple airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in the wee hours of Wednesday after militants in the Palestinian territory sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel, security sources and witnesses said, as quoted by news agency Agence France-Presse.

The attack comes bearly 25 days after the first major flare-up that ended on May 21 after both sides decided on a ceasefire.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets had hit military compounds operated by Hamas in Khan Yunis and Gaza City.

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It said, “‘terrorist activity took place in the compound, and that the IDF was ‘prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terror acts from the Gaza Strip'”.

The ‘arson balloons’ caused around 20 fires in southern Israel local firefighters said. The incendiary balloons were sent as more than a thousand ultranationalist demonstrators bearing Israeli flags poured into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Old City on Tuesday.

It is not immediately clear if the airstrikes have caused any casualties or injuries. Further details are awaited.

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This is the first violent exchange since Israeli’s new coalition government came to power last weekend, headed by Naftali Bennett and drawing an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year run as prime minister.

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