First incendiary balloon since operation sparks fire in southern Israel
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First incendiary balloon since operation sparks fire in southern Israel

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An incendiary balloon sparked a fire in a field in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel on Monday, marking the first confirmed incendiary balloon fire since Operation Guardian of the Walls ended less than two weeks ago, according to Israeli media.Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned after the operation that they would respond powerfully to any aggression against Israel.

While Gantz stressed that he “wasn’t promising” to attack for “every rocket or balloon at 3 a.m.” he added that he would attack when it was “comfortable” for him.

Netanyahu warned in a tweet earlier this month that “We will respond with a different [level of] intensity to any manifestation of aggression against the towns near the Gaza border or anywhere else in the State of Israel.”

Last year, officials made similar statements after waves of explosive balloons were launched towards Israel, but, after balloon launches earlier this year, responses by the IDF were not as strong nor as frequent as those carried out against the rockets that followed.

The reported incendiary balloon comes less than 24 hours after a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated from the Gaza Strip and stabbed a security official outside a town near the Gaza border. The official was lightly injured.

An IDF investigation found that the terrorist infiltrated through a breach in the border fence which was caused during Operation Guardian of the Walls. He managed to sneak through without getting caught due to “human error,” according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The IDF stated that the attack was a “very serious incident.”

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