Palestinian Islamists are seemingly stepping up their malign efforts to terrorize Israel’s southern communities.
Dozens of incendiary and explosive balloons were flown from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip sparked over 30 blazes in numerous locations, including the courtyard of a kindergarten in the town of Sderot. No injuries were reported but the children’s facility sustained severe damage.
Additional improvised devices exploded near a number of civilian communities. Police sappers were deployed to deal with an explosive device that landed next to the former residence of late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Shikmim Farm.
According to Israel’s Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, “heightened security is continuing in all the areas of the south, and our units are continually responding to more than 20 suspicious objects that are landing in the south almost on a daily basis” from Gaza.
For the seventh consecutive day, the Israeli Air Force retaliated for the attacks launched from the lawless territory with strikes on militant installations. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that “IDF fighter jets and aircraft struck underground infrastructures belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.” It further reiterated that the Israeli army will continue to operate as necessary to prevent all attempts to harm Israeli civilians or national sovereignty, and that Hamas is solely responsible for all terror emanating from the Gaza Strip.
Sources have informed TV7 that following talks in Gaza with Hamas leaders, a visiting Egyptian Intelligence delegation has relayed a list of the Islamists’ demands to Israel in order for them to end the recent spate of violence. The conditions include the number of Gaza Palestinians issued permits to work in Israel be increased to 100,000, the Gaza Mediterranean fishing zone be expanded and that the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing between the two sides not be subjected to punitive closure. In addition, Hamas demanded that its assistance from Qatar, which has donated millions of dollars to residents of the Strip, double its contribution.
Intelligence sources described the meeting between Hamas and the visiting Egyptians to TV7 as ‘very tense,’ related to the Islamist group’s unyielding pledge to carry out terror activities against Israel unless all of its demands have been met.