Saturday, January 22nd | 20 Shevat 5782

January 20, 2020 2:12 pm

Explosives-Rigged Balloons, Likely Launched From Gaza, Found Next to Central Israel Moshav

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launch balloons loaded with flammable material toward Israel. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

A group of balloons rigged with explosives — likely flown into Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip — was found near the moshav of Mesilat Zion, next to Beit Shemesh in central Israel, on Monday.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported that police sappers were summoned to an open area where balloons had landed and defused them.

The incident came after similar balloons touched down in the vicinity of the southern cities of Ashdod and Sderot.

On Thursday, residents of a town in the northern Negev Desert called police after a suspicious balloon was found in an open area. An explosive device attached to the balloon detonated at the scene. No one was injured.

Flying bomb-rigged balloons and kites from Gaza into Israel has become a common tactic used by Palestinian terrorists over the past two years, though the frequency had tapered off recently.

Israeli authorities are now concerned that the recent spurt of balloon launches represents a renewal of the use of the tactic.

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