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Gaza's balloon bombs spark new cycle of violence

After a period of calm on the Gaza Strip borders with Israel, incendiary and explosive balloons spark another violent exchange.
A masked Palestinian launches a Balloon loaded with flammable materials to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A short period of calm is over between the Gaza Strip and Israel. After stopping in June, Palestinians have resumed launching incendiary and explosive balloons toward Israel. The Israeli army has responded each time by bombing Hamas military sites in the Gaza Strip, most recently on Aug. 13, when Israel also closed the Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) commercial crossing and stopped all fuel imports into Gaza. Israel also reduced the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip coast from 15 to 8 nautical miles.

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement the latest Israeli actions amount to “a dangerous act of aggression and an uncalculated step for which the occupation will not be able to bear the consequences.”

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