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Friday’s mail from Gaza: incendiary balloons and neutralized bombs

FILE - In this Friday, June 1, 2018 file photo, an Israeli watches a fire started by a kite with attached burning cloth launched by Palestinians from Gaza, near the Israel Gaza border. Israeli border towns are coping with incendiary kites and balloons tha
AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov
No injuries or damages were reported in three incidents reported in the early hours Friday

A number of incendiary balloons were found in a playground in southern community of Kiryat Gat, Israeli police announced Friday morning. The balloons, estimated to have been sent from within the Gaza Strip were neutralized and removed from the scene. No injuries or damage were reported.

Overnight on Thursday, a pipe bomb was thrown at IDF soldiers near the Gaza border. The soldiers responded with live fire on three Palestinians crawling near the security fence.

No soldiers were injured in the pipe bomb incident, and it was not immediately clear whether any of the Palestinian suspects were injured from the IDF gunfire, Israeli news site Ynet reported Friday.

In another incident Friday morning, the IDF announced it had neutralized an explosive device found along the security fence with Gaza was neutralized. No injuries or damage were reported.

The IDF tweeted “Hamas continues to attempt to damage the defense and security forces in the area of the security fence, using the citizens of the Gaza Strip as a shield and cover for terrorist acts.”

This is the second bomb in as many days the IDF has neutralized along the border fence.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel re-opened the Erez crossing, the sole pedestrian crossing with the Gaza Strip, just over a week after is was closed following a destructive Palestinian protest. 

The reopening of the crossing came as the IDF revealed that it had discovered and neutralized an explosive device planted along the southern Gaza border fence, which it said was intended to target Israeli soldiers operating in the area.

Ongoing protests on the Gaza border since March 30 have triggered frequent clashes with the Israeli army and resulted in several military flare-ups.

At least 176 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests began, including at least 50 members of Hamas. Israel accuses the group of hijacking the weekly protests to carry out terror attacks or attempt to infiltrate Israel.

One Israeli soldier has been killed over the same period by Hamas sniper fire.

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