Gazans launch incendiary balloons into Israel after strikes
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Hamas-backed Palestinian activists on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip launched a new wave of incendiary balloons into Israel, further raising tensions after a night of Israeli airstrikes on the seaside territory.
The enemy sides this week have engaged in their heaviest cross-border fighting since an 11-day war in May. In the occupied West Bank, meanwhile, officials said a Palestinian teen was killed in a clash with the Israeli military.
The May war between Israel and Hamas ended with an inconclusive Egyptian-brokered cease-fire. Since then, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in efforts to cement the truce. Hamas wants Israel to lift a stifling blockade on Gaza, while Israel has demanded the return of the remains of two soldiers, in addition to two captive Israeli civilians, Hamas is believed to be holding.
Hamas-backed activists have launched incendiary balloons into southern Israel several times in recent weeks, setting fires on the other side of the border. On Saturday, they held a violent demonstration along the Israeli border fence.
During the demonstration, a militant next to the fence pulled out a pistol and shot an Israeli sniper in the head at point blank range. The Israeli remains in critical condition. Some two-dozen Palestinians were also hit by Israeli fire. - AP