In Brief: Terrorists threaten Israel after incendiary balloon attacks

Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza. Credit: IDF, CC BY-SA 3.0.

A senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group said on Saturday that Gaza-based terrorists have warned Egyptian mediators of a violent response should Israel continue to retaliate against balloon-borne incendiary devices that have burned crops and property in southern Israel.

The comments came a month after the ceasefire following the May 2021 conflict was broken by a number of incendiary balloons sent into Israel by terrorist groups from the Gaza Strip.

The attacks, first initiated in 2018, cause widespread fires and significant damage to agriculture, nature reserves and property. Several dozen incendiary balloons were fired last week, igniting more than 38 fires.

Israel responded with strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza, including sites belonging to the Al-Qassam Brigades military wing and agricultural fields housing underground rocket launchers. There have been no reports of Palestinian casualties.

Speaking to the Al Ayam newspaper, the PIJ’s Khader Habib said that terror organisations “will respond in a similar fashion” should Israel continue to conduct its targeted strikes.

“We will not allow the Israeli government to impose its conditions on the resistance or isolate Gaza”, he continued, adding that the terror groups had already formulated a plan should Israel continue to react.

Since the fighting between Israel and Gaza terror groups ended last month, Hamas has repeatedly warned that it could restart hostilities. It is also thought that Hamas is seeking to test the new government that unseated Benjamin Netanyahu last week.