Israeli army says it launched strikes on Hamas site in Gaza

TEL AVIV, Israel: Israel launched airstrikes on what it said was a Hamas military site in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday, after incendiary balloons were sent into Israeli territory, the army said. Israeli forces, meanwhile, searched for six Palestinian prisoners who had escaped from a high-security facility in the biggest prison break of its kind in decades.
Fighter jets struck a Hamas rocket manufacturing workshop as well as a Hamas military compound in Khan Yunis, a city in southern Gaza, according to the army statement. The army said the compound houses a cement factory used for building tunnels used for terror attacks “and is purposefully located in a civilian area…”
The strikes came in response to incendiary balloons launched by Hamas into Israeli territory, the army said. The devices were a show of support for the six escapees, which Hamas and other Palestinian militants hailed as a heroic victory.
For Israel, the escape — through a secret tunnel, likely with outside help — marks an embarrassing security breach. The massive manhunt through Israel’s north and the occupied West Bank continued on Tuesday as Jews celebrated Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year.
The prisoners appear to have gone into hiding and there was no indication Israeli authorities view them as an immediate threat.
The developments marked an awkward moment for Israel’s new coalition government as it seeks to maintain calm after the deadly 11-day war with Hamas in May and amid a surge in coronavirus infections. – AP