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Israel strikes Gaza after incendiary balloons cause fires

The arson attack followed an Israeli nationalist rally in disputed Jerusalem. The incident threatened the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and tested Israel’s new government.
Explosions light-up the night sky above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on June 16, 2021.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted airstrikes in Gaza early Wednesday morning following incendiary balloons being fired at Israel on Tuesday. It constituted the largest escalation since Israel and Hamas signed a cease-fire last month. 

The IDF said in a tweet that its fighter jets struck Hamas targets in the Palestinian enclave in response to the balloons. Palestinians in Gaza sometimes send balloons loaded with flammable material into Israel. This latest arson attack resulted in 26 fires in Israeli communities near Gaza, according to The Times of Israel. 

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