The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out strikes on what it called Hamas targets in Gaza on Friday after militants in the enclave launched incendiary balloons toward Israel for the first time in over a year.

The hostilities came after more than a week of sometimes violent Palestinian demonstrations along the fence that separates Gaza from Israel.

On Friday, at least 28 people on the Gaza side of the fence were injured by live fire from Israeli forces, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

uri=”” data-editable=”text” data-component-name=”paragraph” data-article-gutter=”true”>The weapons are relatively simple contraptions – helium balloons that often look like children’s birthday party decorations, attached to explosives or devices that are pre-emptively lit on fire.

The balloons were launched by a group calling itself Ahfad Al-Nasser, or the Descendants of al-Nasser, who specialize in attacks using explosives strapped to balloons.

Friday’s balloon launches caused at least three fires in Israel, all of which were extinguished.

The IDF responded by striking what it said were two Hamas military posts from which balloons were launched, and another Hamas military post from which it said shots were fired at Israeli forces.

No IDF injuries were reported, the Israeli military said.

It was not immediately clear if anyone was killed or injured in the Israeli strikes, which the IDF said were carried out by a drone and a tank.


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