Photo: Flash90, Reuters

Gaza escalates attacks on Israel

The launching of several rockets along with dozens of incendiary explosive devices strapped to balloons into Israel by Palestinian Islamists in Gaza has further inflamed already-existent tensions between the sides.

2 rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system early yesterday. A civilian resident of Sderot was injured just after midnight Saturday when shrapnel from an interceptor missile crashed into his home causing heavy damage.

Israel’s Fire and Rescue Authorities noted in a statement that the airborne attacks have ignited more 150 separate blazes throughout the south since the onset of the latest escalation a little over a week ago.

In tandem, some 200 Palestinians rioted at several locations in the Hamas-controlled territory along Israel’s security barrier. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that “the rioters were throwing grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices toward IDF troops, who responded with riot dispersal means.”

For the sixth consecutive day, the Israeli military retaliated against the Palestinian violence with overnight strikes on installations belonging to the Islamist Hamas group. IDF fighter jets and aircraft bombed a military compound used to store rocket ammunition in the southern Gaza Strip, as Israeli tanks targeted several militant observation posts stationed along the border.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit again warned that it “views any terror activity against Israel with great severity and will continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians or sovereignty.” It further highlighted that “the Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians.”

A delegation of senior Egyptian intelligence officials is currently in the Gaza Strip to hold talks with Hamas leaders in a declared effort to deescalate the situation with Israel.