Israel carried out airstrike in Gaza on Monday night in response to the fires in southern Israel caused by incendiary balloons. The Israeli army blamed Hamas for the balloons and said that it targeted locations that belonged to the militant group.
Hamas Rocket Manufacturing Site Targeted
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft targeted a Hamas rocket manufacturing site, as well as a military compound with a concrete plant in Khan Younis. According to an IDF spokesperson, the concrete made in the plant was used for building Hamas' underground terror tunnel network, reported The Jerusalem Post.
The IDF also noted these sites were located in the heart of a civilian area in the Gaza Strip, near cultural sites, mosques and a water facility.
"Overnight, IDF fighter jets struck a Hamas rocket manufacturing workshop, as well as a Hamas military compound in Khan Yunis," the Israeli army said in a statement.
"The strikes were in response to Hamas launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory," the statement added.
The army also fired artillery in north Gaza, as per witnesses. AFP quoted medical sources in the Palestinian enclave to say that no one was killed.
Earlier Monday, incendiary balloons launched from the Strip sparked three fires in Israel's Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. Firefighters managed to put out the fires before they could cause significant damage, according to The Times of Israel.
Gazans have continued to launch incendiary devices attached to kites or balloons into Israel despite warnings from Jerusalem of zero tolerance for such attacks.
Launching the makeshift devices is a common tactic of militants in Gaza, which Israel has blockaded for nearly 15 years, according to AFP.
Israel frequently responds with airstrikes.
Escape of Six Terrorists from Gilboa Prison
Monday's strikes come after six Palestinians broke out of an Israel's Gilboa prison earlier in the day through a tunnel dug beneath a sink, triggering a massive manhunt for the group that includes a prominent ex-militant.
Israeli security forces mounted a search in northern Israel after farmers tipped off police about suspicious figures seen in their fields in the early morning hours. Police then alerted officials at Gilboa prison, who discovered that the men had gone, reported Reuters.