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Israel says it struck Hamas military base after arson balloon launch


The Israel Defense Forces said early Monday that it conducted military strikes on a Hamas base in response to an arson balloon launch.

The IDF said the base—which is near civilian sites, including a school– contained infrastructure “and means used for terror activity.”

“We will continue to respond to any terror attempts from Gaza,” the statement said.

The airstrike came several hours after the incendiary balloons were launched into Israel by activists linked to Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group. Photos and video posted on social media showed them sending the balloons into Israel. On one of them was written the message: “Time is running out.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett the right-wing leader who was once former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff, has said that he would approach balloon attacks with the same seriousness as if they were rockets.

The launches came two months after an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. The Islamic militant group is upset that Israel has done little to ease a crippling blockade on the territory since the fighting ended, and over delays in indirect negotiations with Israel to resume Qatari financial aid to Gaza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report



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