Football rigged with explosives found attached to balls near Gaza

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have apparently used balloons to float a soccer ball attached to an explosive device in Israel, as part of an increase in arson attacks on the ball in recent days.

Photos showed the bright orange ball, which was discovered on Thursday in an open area of ​​Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, with a device stuck to it.

IDF engineers were called to the scene and defused the device, according to the Ynet news site.

No was injured by the explosive-laden bullet, which appeared to be another attempt to target the children. Numerous attacks were launched against brightly colored balloons and local children were warned not to approach them.

Another suspicious object apparently stolen from Gaza with balloons was found in Sha’ar Hanegev regional council on Friday

Police were dispatched to a field where the device landed.

There were no reports of injuries.

Terrorist groups in the Strip have continued to launch incendiary devices attached to balloons into Israel in recent days, undeterred by Israel’s threats to respond forcefully to Palestinian attempts to disrupt a major event in Jerusalem, the Forum. Global Holocaust Forum, which was attended by many world leaders.

On Thursday evening, a rocket warning siren sounded in a community near the Gaza border. The army said it was triggered by an explosion inside Gaza, not rocket fire.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the explosion in the northern part of Gaza, near the border area closest to the town of Sderot.

The Israeli missile defense system around Gaza tracks explosions reportedly caused by rocket fire.

The siren raised tensions in the south amid threats from Hamas leaders in Gaza to escalate violence in order to put pressure on Israel during the informal truce talks currently underway through Egyptian mediation.

Palestinians prepare incendiary balloons near the town of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip, June 25, 2019 (Hassan Jedi / Flash90)

A number of suspicious balloons apparently launched from the Gaza Strip were found in southern Israel on Thursday.

Police said four balloons, three in Kiryat Gat and one in a community in Shafir Regional Council, were attached to suspicious objects. Sappers were sent to the regions.

“In one case, the object exploded, with no injuries in the incident,” police said.

Hours earlier, a spokesperson for Shaar Hanegev Regional Council said a suspicious cluster of balloons had been found there. “Military forces immediately arrived at the scene and successfully dealt with the situation,” the spokesperson said.

The balloon launches came a day after Israeli television reported that Egypt was involved in “intense efforts” to get Hamas to end arson balloon attacks against Israel from Gaza amid fears of a return to violence.

An Israeli soldier fights a blaze started by an incendiary device launched from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on June 26, 2019 (AP Photo / Tsafrir Abayov)

There has been no official confirmation of the report from Egypt or Hamas.

A senior Hamas official said on Tuesday that the recent wave of balloons was a signal for Israel to speed up informal “deals” aimed at easing the blockade on territory ruled by the terrorist group.

Speaking to reporters, Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said the balloons were launched by disgruntled individuals, not Hamas. But he said his group was “happy” with the launches and was ready to send more “if the occupation doesn’t get the message.”

UN envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov called the new balloon launches “worrying and regrettable” during a Security Council briefing on Tuesday. “These actions constitute a risk for the civilian population,” he declared.

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