Israel strikes Gaza after 'explosive balloon' damages house

Israel strikes Gaza after 'explosive balloon' damages house
2 min read
28 February, 2019
Israeli aircrafts targeted a number of military sites in the besieged Gaza Strip after a balloon launched from the border fence damaged a house.
Gaza is besieged by Israel [Getty]

Israeli aircrafts targeted several military sites in the besieged Gaza Strip after an "explosive balloon" launched from the Palestinian enclave damaged a house across the border fence, the army said on Thursday.

"An explosive balloon launched from the Gaza Strip damaged a house in an Israeli community, apparently after exploding in the air," the army said in a statement.

"In response, IDF fighter jets and attack helicopters struck a number of terror targets in a Hamas military compound in the central Gaza Strip," the statement said.

Eye witnesses in Gaza said a position of al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas rulers, was targeted in western Deir al Balah, south of Gaza city late on Wednesday.

There were no reports of casualties in Gaza.

Palestinians have for nearly a year gathered at least weekly along the Gaza border fence for often non-violent marches to demand an end to the Israeli siege on Gaza and the right for Palestinians to return to their homes lost since Israel's creation in 1948.

At times they sporadically launch balloons with incendiary and explosive devices across the border fence.

The United Nations accused Israel of committing "crimes against humanity" after killng hundreds of Palestinians, including children in their retaliation to the mostly peaceful protests.

At least 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or air strikes.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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