Early on Friday, August 28, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip following the launch of six rockets from the enclave. The rockets landed in open fields; it is unclear whether the projectiles detonated in Gaza or in southern Israel. IDF aircraft reportedly targeted sites near Gaza City, including a weapons manufacturing facility. The strikes were the second of the day, with tanks and aircraft hitting Hamas underground infrastructure and observation posts at 04:30 (local time), in response to continued balloon attacks. Balloon-attached incendiary devices continued to be launched from Gaza into Israel throughout Friday, causing at least 24 small fires. No casualties were reported on either side.
Continued clashes are to be expected along the Gaza-Israeli border. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions to transportation, utilities, and business are likely over the near to medium term.
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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