Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attack helicopters and tanks hit Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip late on Tuesday, August 11, in response to a series of attacks with balloon-attached incendiary devices over the past week. The IDF has announced that a military base, underground infrastructure, and observation posts were targeted. The strikes came following a series of Palestinian bomb attacks on Tuesday, which started at least 60 fires in southern Israel. No casualties have been reported on either side. Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing to all traffic, except for fuel and humanitarian aid, until further notice.
Continued attacks on Israeli border communities are likely in the near term, with Israeli strikes to be expected in retaliation.
The clashes come amidst a period of heightened tension between Hamas and Israel, as negotiations between the two sides have allegedly stalled. On Saturday, August 8, a Hamas official reportedly stated that the group would resume their balloon bomb campaign in order to exercise pressure on the Israeli government. Israeli authorities have warned that further attacks would draw an increasingly harsh response.
Those in the Gaza Strip and areas of Israel bordering the territory are advised to monitor developments and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the Gaza Strip.
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