21:47 GMT +322 October 2018
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    A Palestinian man uses a slingshot during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with the Gaza strip east of Khan Yunis on May 14, 2018, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy following its controversial move to Jerusalem

    IDF Claims Explosive Palestinian Balloon Airstrike Prevented

    © AFP 2018 / SAID KHATIB
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    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday inflicted a warning air strike on a group of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which were preparing to send a batch of explosive balloons over the border into Israel, a IDF spokesperson said.

    "Moments ago, the IDF identified a group of Palestinians preparing balloons with explosive devices attached to them to be sent into Israel in order to ignite fires and cause extensive damage to Israeli territory. In response, an IDF aircraft fired a warning shot next to the group," the spokesperson said on Twitter.

    The statement also notes that the Israeli army views the use of balloons with explosive devices "with great severity" and will continue to prevent attempts of their use.

    According to Israeli media, there were no reports of any casualties as a result of the attack.

    The Great March of Return lasted until Nakba Day on May 15 — the day that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian exodus that occurred as a result of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948. The tensions were fueled on May 14, when the United States relocated its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is claimed capital by both Israel and the State of Palestine.

    The situation on the Israeli-Gaza border has significantly worsened over the past several months. The Israeli side has been using lethal arms to suppress the rallies citing security concerns and putting the blame for the escalation on the Hamas radical movement, governing the Gaza Strip.

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    Tags:
    prevention, attack, explosives, balloon, tension, border, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Palestine, Israel, Gaza
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