Israel strikes Gaza after incendiary balloon launch
Blaming Hamas for the balloons, the Israeli army said it had pounded locations belonging to the militant group that controls the besieged enclave.
"Overnight, IDF fighter jets struck a Hamas rocket manufacturing workshop, as well as a Hamas military compound in Khan Yunis," the Israeli army said in a statement.
"The strikes were in response to Hamas launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory," the statement added.
Witnesses said that the army had also fired artillery at the north of Gaza.
According to medical sources in the besieged enclave, no one was killed, however, the strikes caused damage and fire to property nearby, a correspondent at Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa said.
Earlier in the day, Israeli firefighters had said that balloons had caused three bushfires at sites close to the Gaza Strip.
Israel frequently responds to balloon firings with airstrikes that human rights organisations slam as indiscriminate and disproportionate.
The last large-scale Israeli military campaign against besieged Gaza occurred in May when a deadly 11-day bombing campaign killed 256 Palestinians, including dozens of children.
Rockets launched from Gaza by Hamas and others led to 13 deaths in Israel.
Over a decade of siege
In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the strip, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison, where basic necessities such as food, fuel and medicines are severely restricted.
Critics say the blockade, along with a periodic bombardment of Gaza, amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's 2 million residents.
In 2014, the UN - along with four other human rights organisations - said that the Gaza Strip could end up becoming 'uninhabitable' because of Israeli policies. The decade-long siege has plunged hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty.
Nearly 70 percent of Gaza's population is food insecure and around 80 percent of Palestinians in the besieged enclave are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.
Out of Gaza's 2 million population, 1.4 million are refugees whose ancestors were forced out of their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.