Israel says it hit Hamas military base after incendiary balloon was launched

The Israel Defense Forces said Monday morning it carried out military strikes on a Hamas base in response to the launch of an incendiary balloon.

The IDF said the base – which is near civilian sites, including a school – contained infrastructure “and assets used for terrorist activities.”

“We will continue to respond to any attempt at terrorism from Gaza,” the statement said.

The airstrike came hours after incendiary balloons were launched into Israel by militants linked to the ruling Hamas militant group in Gaza. Photos and videos posted on social media showed them sending the balloons to Israel. One of them was inscribed with the message: “Time is running out.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the right-wing leader who was once the chief of staff to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said he would approach balloon attacks with the same seriousness as if they were rockets.

The launches came two months after an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. The Islamic militant group is upset that Israel has done little to ease the crippling blockade of the territory since the end of the fighting and the delays in indirect negotiations with Israel to resume Qatari financial aid to Gaza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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