News Jun 16, 2021 6:02 AM EST

In response to Hamas arson attacks and border skirmishes, IDF launches retaliatory strikes against military targets in Gaza

An IDF spokesperson said in a statement "The IDF is prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip."

In response to Hamas arson attacks and border skirmishes, IDF launches retaliatory strikes against military targets in Gaza
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA
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In response to Hamas using incendiary balloons that started over two dozen fires in forests and green spaces across southern Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) retaliated against multiple military sites in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night.

The flare up comes just three weeks after a cease-fire ended 11 days of fighting that marked the worst conflict between the IDF and Hamas terrorists since 2014.

An IDF spokesperson said in a statement "The IDF is prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip."

Fires broke out across southern Israel Tuesday. According to the Jerusalem Post, at least 20 fires were sparked by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza. Palestinian media published photos of terrorists on social media preparing the balloons to be launched.

Palestinians also attacked the IDF along the Gaza border on Tuesday in response to Jews marching through the Old City of Jerusalem for a parade while waving Israeli flags. During attacks, one of the Palestinian rioters was shot in the leg.

Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the rioters. Riots continued into the night as Gazans launched explosives and burned tires. According to Palestinian reports,three Gazans were arrested by the IDF after they crossed the Gaza border fence into Israel.

Due to the unrest, the flight paths arriving and departing from Ben-Gurion Airport were diverted to the North. The Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems were also reinforced in response to threats by Hamas terrorists.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Hamas celebrated after Israel changed the flight paths. "The valiant resistance will remain the protective shield for our people, and the behavior of the Israeli occupation on the ground will determine the course and nature of dealing with it."

Newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has made statements warning terrorist groups that incendiary balloons would be treated like rocket attacks, following waves of explosive balloons were launched toward the Jewish state last year.

Hamas terrorists called for a "Day of Rage" to confront the parade Tuesday, and encouraged Palestinians to "mobilize" at the al-Aqsa Mosque."Let next Tuesday be a day of mobilization and a bond towards al-Aqsa Mosque, and a day of anger and defiance of the occupier. Show God and your people what you have done in it, and be the best sword for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa."

In response to the parade, Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian terrorist group said Tuesday that it will respond to the parade "with full force to the provocations of the settlers in the Holy City" and called for Palestinians to gather throughout Jerusalem, in areas where the parade was scheduled to pass.

Despite the threats, the parade took place with relatively little conflict as of Tuesday evening.

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