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June 17, 2019 10:11 am

Police Sappers Neutralize Suspicious Balloon-Borne Device Outside Israeli Town

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Palestinians prepare balloons that will be attached to flammable material during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza-Israeli border on Aug. 10, 2018. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90. – Police sappers were called on Monday to diffuse a suspicious package attached to a bunch of balloons which had landed near a Jewish community close to the Gaza border, according to the Eshkol Regional Council.

No injuries or damage were reported.

The balloons were launched into Israel just one day after a Qatari delegation was permitted entry into the Gaza Strip by Israel to deliver a large amount of cash, which will be distributed to families as well as used to fund UN work programs. Previous Qatari cash deliveries were used to pay the salaries of Hamas employees, but the practice was stopped due to Israeli protests.

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have risen after a brief lull in May, during which time Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in which Israel provided economic incentives in exchange for a cessation of Hamas violence.

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Last week, terrorist groups launched rockets on Israeli towns near the border, scoring a direct hit on a religious school in Sderot. Miraculously, many of the students were out of the building at the time, and the rocket failed to detonate on impact.

The rockets were fired after Israel closed the Gaza fishing zone in response to a wave of incendiary balloons launched over the border into Israel. Some of the balloons from Gaza have also carried explosive devices.

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