Israel's Defense Minister Warns of Escalation Over Gaza Fires and Incendiary Balloons
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired artillery shells into the Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to a security incident reported along the security barrier.
The IDF said in a statement that shots were heard by workers during construction work on the security fence in the southern part of the Palestinian enclave.
"The works on the security fence were halted and smoke shells were deployed in the area," the statement read. As Israeli troops were dispatched to the scene, shots from the Strip were fired at them. No IDF injuries were reported, the IDF added.
Earlier, Palestinians reported that the Israeli military fired smoke grenades and artillery shells toward the Deir al-Balah area in central Gaza.
Tensions along the southern border with the Palestinians have simmered over the past month. On Saturday, reports broke that Palestinian factions, headed by Hamas terror group, launched a threat to end the ceasefire with the Jewish state.
Incendiary balloons were launched in the past several days from the Gaza Strip into Israel, causing incidents of fire to agricultural land. In one instance, an explosive device attached to a balloon was found in the city of Arad, as bomb disposal experts were called onto the scene to neutralize the object.