Incendiary balloon launches continue, as Gaza restrictions tightened

At least 11 fires were sparked by incendiary balloons on Sunday

Fires caused by incendiary balloons in Israel near the Gaza Strip, August 2020 (photo credit: TZAFRIR NIR)
Fires caused by incendiary balloons in Israel near the Gaza Strip, August 2020
(photo credit: TZAFRIR NIR)
Terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued to launch incendiary and explosive balloons, as Israel reportedly tightened trade restrictions on the Strip.
At least 28 fires were sparked by incendiary balloons on Sunday. A power outage was reported in Miflasim and Nir Am in the Gaza envelope on Sunday after an incendiary balloon hit an electrical pole in the area. A backup generator provided power to the two kibbutzim until the electrical line was repaired.
Palestinian media reported on Sunday that Israel had halted the entry of all goods and materials, except for food and medicine, through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The crossing was closed to fuel and building material imports about 13 days ago.
Israeli naval vessels prevented Gaza fisherman from leaving ports along the coast of the Gaza Strip as well, as the fishing zone off the coast remains closed. Video from the Strip showed Israeli vessels relatively close to the coast. Warning shots were fired at fisherman who attempted to exit the ports, according to Palestinian reports.
Incendiary and explosive balloon launches were renewed about two weeks ago by terrorists in the Gaza Strip, with demands to lift restrictions on imports into the Strip and the fishing zone and to carry out infrastructure projects that were agreed upon in a de-escalation agreement last year.
Senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri warned that "Gaza is going to explode if Israel does not commit itself to breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip." Al-Masri added that mediation efforts are ongoing to stop the deteriorating situation in the Strip.
The Hamas official warned that the terrorist group is "not afraid" of Israeli threats and that "there is nothing to lose in the face of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. We are going to the maximum extent."
Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations continued efforts to reach a de-escalation agreement between Israel and Gaza, as both sides continued to refuse to budge. The Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip Mohammed Al-Emadi is expected to visit the Strip on Tuesday, according to Palestinian reports.
While the terrorist groups in Gaza are demanding that the trade and fishing restrictions be lifted before balloon launches are halted, among other demands, Israel has demanded that the balloon launches be halted before restrictions are lifted.
Waves of incendiary and explosive balloons have been launched daily in recent weeks, along with rocket fire towards the Gaza envelope in recent days. The IDF has responded almost nightly to the balloon launches and rockets with strikes targeting sites belonging to Hamas throughout the Strip.
Over the past hour, two cases of suspicious objects attached to balloons within the Eshkol Regional Council area have been reported.  One balloon was located near a playground and the other on a tree.
The suspicious objects were located thanks to the vigilance of the residents who reported to the security personnel immediately and took care to keep people away from the place.
Happily no damage was done and no casualties.