Israel hits Hamas compound after arson balloon launch


Israel said on Thursday its aircraft struck a Hamas military site in the Gaza Strip overnight after balloons carrying firebombs and explosives were launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Following the airstrike, Israel’s military said there had been two “launches” – likely rockets – from the Gaza Strip toward Israel.

No further details on the launches were immediately available.

The airstrike hit targets within what Israeli army called a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip. There had so far been no reports of injuries.

It was unclear if the firebombs and explosives that prompted it caused any damage within Israel.

Palestinians in Gaza have been regularly sending balloons carrying firebombs over the border fence to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.

An Egyptian and UN-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, had led to relative calm around Israel’s April 9 election.

But on Tuesday,Israel reduced the offshore fishing limitit imposes for vessels operating out of the blockaded strip after a rocket was fired from the territory by Palestinian militants.

The rocket fell into the Mediterranean. Israel’s military blamed the launch on Islamic Jihad, which is allied to Hamas.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

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