Gaza Truce Hinges of Fire Kites, Balloons

Ави Габай резко раскритиковал Нетаниягу

Ави Габай резко раскритиковал Нетаниягу

Israel's air force struck several Hamas military targets after terrorists deployed incendiary kites and balloons that caused severe fires in Israeli communities on the Gaza border.

The IDF on Sunday said it fired at a group of Palestinians flying incendiary balloons into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.

Israel says the Islamist group is using the demonstrations as a cover to carry out attacks on Israeli border communities.

While the Oslo agreement signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993 allows Gazans to fish up to 12 nautical miles in the Mediterranean Sea, Israel unilaterally reduced this area after it imposed the crippling siege on Gaza in 2006 to only three miles.

Hamas announced a ceasefire late Saturday, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the kite fires must stop.

"As events over the weekend demonstrate, the situation in Gaza is extremely precarious", said Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, after visiting the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians in Gaza see it as legitimate resistance against Israel's more than decade-long blockade.

Netanyahu said that the recent confrontation led to the destruction of tunnels and sites for Hamas, adding that the army was instructed to eliminate the phenomenon of "planes and burning" balloons and that this task is under implementation.

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The firebombs have mostly been transported by kites and balloons, but Israel's nature authority said a falcon was found Monday with flammable material tied to it.

Israel is cracking down on the Gaza Strip by placing new restrictions amid ongoing violence from Palestinians.

"There is an exchange of blows here".

The steps come as the United Nations and Egypt push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and as Israel prepares to go to war - if necessary - to prevent Hamas and the Islamic Jihad from launching rockets and incendiary devices into southern Israel.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, condemned the move and called the initial closing last week a "crime against humanity". Witnesses said that explosions were heard near a group of incendiary kite-flyers in eastern Beit Hanoun.

A spokesman for Israel's fire service says around 750 fires have burned some 2,600 hectares, estimating the damage at millions of shekels (hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros).

"We were sitting in the living room and all of a sudden, the aquarium exploded and there was smoke everywhere and glass flew everywhere", said Aharon Buchris, who was wounded along with his wife and two teenage daughters, as he awaited surgery in hospital. "But we need and I hope we will have the full cooperation of all Palestinians and all Israelis who are sick and exhausted of war and conflict, who want to live in peace, and who want to see their lives not constantly threatened by rockets or air strikes", Mr. Mladenov underscored.

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