The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out several airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, August 28, in retaliation for incendiary balloons launched into southern Israel from the territory the previous day. According to local media reports, an underground structure and Hamas observation post were targeted in the strikes. No injuries were immediately reported in Israel or Gaza.
Continued attacks on Israeli border communities are likely in the near term, as well as Israeli retaliatory airstrikes. Further escalation of the situation cannot be ruled out.
The incidents come amidst a period of rising tension between Hamas and Israel, as negotiations between the two sides have allegedly stalled. On 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, and threatened rocket fire into Israel should the situation continue. Hundreds of balloons have been launched into Israel in the past two weeks, with Israel launching airstrikes targeting Hamas infrastructure in response. 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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