08:00 GMT30 July 2021
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    Earlier in the week, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stated that they had conducted airstrikes in the southern part of Gaza city in response to the launching of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory.

    Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Thursday confirmed that it conducted airstrikes targeting Hamas' military compounds and a rocket launch site located in Gaza. According to the Israeli army, the attacks were carried out in response to "arson balloons" launched from Gaza into Israel.

    "In response to arson balloons launched from Gaza into Israel, we struck military compounds and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas in Gaza. The IDF has increased its readiness for various scenarios & will continue to strike Hamas terror targets in Gaza", IDF tweeted.

    Earlier in the day, Palestinian news agency Shehab and Israel's Channel 13 reported that Tel Aviv had conducted airstrikes in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

    According to Shehab, two reconnaissance missiles were fired at a site belonging to the Qassam Brigades - Hamas' military wing - in Beit Lahia, with "warplanes" later bombing the site. Later, the agency reported that the planes conducted "a raid" in the area of Al-Maqqa near Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza strip. Shortly after that, Shehab reported that the Israeli planes "targeted the Civil Administration site east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip".

    Channel 13 reported that the airstrikes in northern Gaza targeted "a military post of the Hamas terrorist organization", and that the attack was carried out in response to a "continued launching of incendiary balloons" into Israeli territory.

    The airstrikes caused no casualties, according to Shehab. 

    The Palestinian news agency shared a video allegedly showing the moment of the airstrikes.

    On 15 June, the IDF confirmed it had conducted airstrikes in the area of Maan Bakhaniounis, and Quraysh, south of Gaza City, saying they were carried out in response to the launch of incendiary balloons, and placing the responsibility on Hamas.

    The Tuesday and Thursday attacks mark the first airstrikes since the new Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, assumed office, after he formed a coalition and ousted his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu. The missile attacks also follow the late May ceasefire between Tel Aviv and Hamas that brought an end to 11 days of airstrikes that killed some 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.


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