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Incendiary Balloon Attacks from Gaza Resume

Incendiary Balloon Attacks from Gaza Resume

Saturday, 18 January, 2020 - 07:30
Illustrative: An Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, November 27, 2019. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Gaza - Asharq Al-Awsat
Palestinians have resumed launching incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli border towns to protest the delay in implementing permanent truce agreements, according to Israeli intelligence.

The parties launching the balloons are not directly linked to Hamas Movement, which showed commitment to the agreements, said intelligence agents.

However, they said Hamas has turned a blind eye to some of their actions to exert pressure on Israel and Egypt.

“While there is no apparent change in Hamas’ position in avoiding aggravating the situation with Israel, tensions are likely to persist in the form of indiscriminate rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave toward Israel’s southern communities,” they said.

On Thursday, balloons with attached explosive devices were launched from the Strip into southern Israel, the Israeli police said.

In response, the Israeli air force struck Hamas facilities in the enclave.

The tactic of launching explosive-laden balloons from Gaza into Israel started in 2018 as part of a series of protests and riots along the Strip’s border, known collectively as the March of Return.

Hamas stopped using this technique following truce agreements between the Movement and Israel.

Israeli officials voiced concern over the possibility that tensions on Israel’s southern front with the Gaza Strip may escalate in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv reported that Israel believes Iran will possess a nuclear bomb within two years.

A 2020 report prepared by the Israeli Military Intelligence, known as AMAN, said that Iran is to face “challenges” soon, mainly regarding the nuclear program, but expected it to be able to produce enough uranium for only one nuclear bomb by next winter.

The report said the Israeli army believes that in the coming year Hamas will continue adhering to its understandings with Israel, with the aim of improving Gaza’s economic situation.

Concerning Hezbollah, AMAN’s report said the Lebanese party currently has very limited precision missile capabilities that are not yet operational.

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