Israel Bombards Gaza Over Fire Kites, Hamas Fires Back

GAZA — The Israeli military has said its warplanes struck nine Hamas targets in the besieged Gaza Strip in response to incendiary kites attacks.

The Israeli army said in online statements early on Monday that strikes hit "two military compounds and in a munition manufacturing site".

"The strikes were conducted in response to arson and explosive kites and balloons that've been launched into Israel," the military said.

The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported Hamas responded to the attacks by firing two rockets into Israeli territory.

"Fire balloons" and kites carrying flammable material have become symbols of the Palestinian border protests in recent months.

The Israeli army on Saturday wounded two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip attempting to launch incendiary balloons across the border into Israel.

Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, at least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire in the same time span, while no Israelis have been killed.

The kites and balloons have devastated large swaths of farmland and nature reserves in southern Israel.

Palestinians are calling to return to the homes their families were forced from in 1948 during the war surrounding the creation of Israel and for an end to the decade-long crippling blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted by a strong majority an Arab-backed resolution condemning Israel for the killing of protesters.

The resolution condemned Israel's use of "excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force" against Palestinian civilians and called for protection measures for Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

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