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June 2, 2018 2:50 pm

Gaza Border Heats Up Again With Mortar Fire, Infiltration Attempts, and Fire Sparked by Incendiary Kites

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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A battery of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. Photo: IDF.

Israel’s Gaza border saw further escalation over the weekend, with mortars fired into southern Israel, two terrorist infiltration attempts, and a major fire sparked by incendiary kites.

On Saturday, two mortars were detected over the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome missile defense system destroyed one, while the other reportedly fell inside the Strip itself.

Last week saw a major escalation along the Gaza border, with over 100 rockets and mortars fired into Israeli territory, reportedly by both the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups. One projectile fell in the courtyard of a kindergarten shortly before the students were due to arrive. The IDF responded with a massive barrage of retaliatory strikes, sparking fears of another Hamas-Israel war. However, a ceasefire reportedly brokered by Egypt took hold soon after.

An IDF spokesman told Israel’s Channel 2 about the latest incident, “Following the report of red alert sirens that were activated in the Eshkol Regional Council, two launches from the territory of the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory were identified. One projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome system and the second appears to have fallen on the territory of the Gaza Strip.”

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IDF forces also opened fire on a team of infiltrators earlier on Saturday. An army spokesman said that the terrorists apparently tried to breach the border with Gaza and were turned back by the IDF response.

A major blaze also broke out in the area as the result of incendiary kites released from Gaza. The fire apparently consumed a third of a nature reserve near the towns of Karmia and Hamamot.

On Friday, a terrorist succeeded briefly in breaching the border and detonated a grenade. No one was injured in the incident.

The ongoing “March of Return” also continued over the weekend, though in dwindling numbers. Several thousand Palestinians demonstrated along the border, with IDF fire killing one. Palestinian media claimed that 40 demonstrators were also wounded.

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