Israel strikes Gaza over 'arson balloons'

By AFP
Published: October 25, 2018
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Palestinian demonstrators fly a kite aiming to set fire to Israeli crops following a demonstration along the border east of Gaza City. PHOTO AFP

Palestinian demonstrators fly a kite aiming to set fire to Israeli crops following a demonstration along the border east of Gaza City. PHOTO AFP

JERUSALEM: Israel’s air force on Wednesday struck a position in the Gaza Strip used to launch incendiary balloons into Israeli territory, the military said.

Palestinians in the besieged coastal territory have for months been launching kites and balloons, equipped with rudimentary incendiary devices, towards Israeli farmland.

Hundreds of fires have resulted, destroying large areas of Israeli crops and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

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That has coincided with mass demonstrations since late March, labelled the “Great March of Return”, calling for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes inside what is now Israel.

More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, many of them to Gaza.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli fire since the protests began. One Israeli soldier has been killed in the border area over the same period.

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