An Israeli observation balloon fell over Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, with Palestinian reports claiming that the IDF struck the area shortly afterwards. The IDF is investigating the incident.
فيديو للمنطاد العسكري الاسرائيلي الذي يستخدم في التجسس والمراقبة بعد سقوطه في بيت حانون شمال قطاع غزة pic.twitter.com/ZI4IaV7EKa— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) June 17, 2022
The reports claimed that Palestinian terrorist groups were able to seize the balloon, with photos allegedly of the balloon shared by Palestinian media. Video reportedly from the scene showed Palestinians holding the balloon and the camera and sensor equipment attached to it.
The IDF stated that there is no concern of a significant leak of information and that the situation on the home front was routine.
At the same time, a red alert was activated in an open area near the Erez Crossing due to warning shots fired by the IDF, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
Shortly afterwards, Palestinian media reported that at least two missiles were fired by Israel towards a target in an open area near the Erez Crossing in Gaza. Photos reportedly from the scene showed two smoke plumes after the strikes.
The incident comes hours after three Palestinian terrorists were killed in armed clashes with the IDF in Jenin earlier in the morning. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movements claimed that the terrorists were part of their movement.
"The cowardly assassination during which this group of Palestinian men rose to life, and eight others were injured during the storming of the city, will not go unpunished, and our rebellious and striving people and their valiant resistance know how to strike the enemy and respond to his heinous crime," said Hamas in a press statement.
The Jenin branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades warned that Israel would "pay a heavy price" for the incident.
This is a developing story.