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IAF Strikes Hamas Targets after Iron Dome Intercepts Gaza Rocket over Ashkelon

The Israeli Air Force conducted raids against Hamas targets in Gaza following the interception of a rocket over the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Several planes and helicopter gunships hit terrorist positions in a Hamas camp following the shootdown of the rocket early Monday morning.

The IDF released a statement saying, “We hold the Hamas terror organization accountable for all acts of terror emanating from the Gaza Strip.”

On Sunday, an explosive device was flown from Gaza into southern Israel carried by a bunch of balloons. The balloons and drone-like object landed in a carrot field in the Sdot Negev region.

The device exploded, as bomb disposal robot carried it away. No injuries were reported.

The drone-like object had the name of a Gaza engineering school on it but did not appear to be capable of flight.

Following the attempted balloon attack, IDF forces struck two observation posts controlled by Hamas.

“In response to the attempted attack, IDF helicopters targeted two Hamas military posts in Gaza. Hamas will bear the consequences of its actions,” the IDF said in a statement.

The balloon attack, though unsuccessful, was a repeat of a tactic used by Gaza-based terrorists, coinciding with the violent Hamas-led riots called the Great March of Return. Over the past nine months, terrorists from Gaza have been sending incendiary and explosive devices into Israel by means of balloons, kites, and even condoms. According to an October 2018 study, this tactic had burned half of the forests near Gaza.

“Thousands of acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have also carried improvised explosive devices,” The Times of Israel reported.

In October, the World Jewish Congress called on the United Nations Environmental Program to condemn Hamas’s “environmental warfare” against the Jewish state.

[Photo: Anna Ahronheim / Twitter ]