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Incendiary balloons spark fires in Israeli communities near Gaza

Sept. 21, 2018 11:40 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 21, 2018 1:44 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Several fires broke out in forests and open fields near Israeli communities surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip due to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza.

Hebrew-language news outlets reported that several fires broke out on late Thursday and Friday morning in four various places near Israeli communities surrounding Gaza.

Israeli firefighters immediately arrived to the scene and managed to extinguish a fire that broke out in an open field, while another firefighting crew also attempted to put out a fire in a nearby forest and were able to gain control over all flames.

Two other fires broke out near the illegal Israeli settlements of Kissufim and Neram.

Sources confirmed that the fires broke out due to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel.

In July, it was reported that about 6,000 dunams (1482.6 acres) of agricultural produce as well as thousands of dunams of open fields were burned due to about 678 fires caused by incendiary kites and balloons flown from inside the Gaza Strip.

However, Palestinians in Gaza view the incendiary kites as a form of protest against Israel's nearly 12-year blockade of Gaza and for Palestinian refugees right of return to their homes and lands which are now known as Israel.

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