The fires were the first since mid-June, when incendiary devices launched from Gaza ignited a total of 26 conflagrations in southern Israel. Hamas claimed it had launched the June attack in response to the Jerusalem Day flag march in Jerusalem on June 15. In response, the Israeli Air Force attacked Hamas targets in Gaza.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the ongoing arson attacks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“I reiterate: Things have changed. Israel is interested in quiet and we have no interest in harming the residents of Gaza; however, violence, balloons, marches, and harassment will be met with a sharp response,” he said.
Bennett’s remarks echoed those he made on June 20 during a memorial service for soldiers who fell during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Israel’s “patience has run out,” he said, adding, “Our enemies will have to learn the rules: We will not suffer violence, will not tolerate ‘trickles’ [of attacks], will not countenance or be understanding of incitement.”