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August 23, 2021 11:10 am

More Incendiary Balloon Launches From Gaza Into Israel as Tensions Escalate

avatar by i24 News

Palestinians prepare balloons that will be attached to flammable material to be launched into Israel, east of Jabalia, in the Gaza Strip, on June 25, 2019. Photo: Hassan Jedi/Flash90.

i24 News – Incendiary balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel overnight Sunday to Monday, Palestinian media reported.

Several fires were reported Monday morning near Israeli villages near Palestinian territory, although there is no confirmation at the time of reporting that these were caused by balloons from Gaza.

Israeli soldiers stationed in the area also heard explosions, a reporter from the Walla news site reported.

The balloons come as tension between Israel and the Hamas-controlled coastal territory escalated over the weekend, with clashes in which an Israeli border police officer was critically injured.

Sergeant Bar-el Hadaria Shmueli, 21, was shot by a Palestinian who was able to approach the security fence.

On the same day 24 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli gunfire — including a 13-year-old boy shot in the head — according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, ABC News reported.

Video of the attack on Shmueli, which was shared on social media, shows dozens of Palestinians gathered along the wall that separates Gaza from Israel. One Palestinian can be seen attempting to grab the rifle of the Israeli officer, which is thrust through a hole in the wall.

In another video from the same incident, a rioter is seen approaching Shmueli’s position and firing a handgun through the hole, resulting in the officer’s wounding.

The Israeli military has opened an investigation to determine the circumstances of the incident.

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