JERUSALEM -The Israeli military reported Israeli jets struck nine Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning in response to kite burners and balloons sent from Palestinians damaging Israeli property.
Sirens were also heard in the Israeli section of the area near the Gaza Strip at dawn, local troops said three rockets were launched into Israeli territory but a rocket fell before crossing the border.
Reported by Reuters, no casualties were reported due to rocket or air strikes.
In recent weeks, Palestinians have sent kites tied with embers across the Gaza strip to burn farms and forests, while others carry small explosives with new tactics that have caused great damage.
The Israeli military fired warning shots from the air and destroyed property belonging to the kite pilots and refrained from targeting the shots directly.
Some Israeli ministers are calling for shots to be targeted directly to kite flyers.
An Israeli general said it had recruited a number of civilian fans of drones as reservists and ordered them to fly drones to prevent burning kites from entering Israel.
However, until now has not found an effective way to stop the kite.
“This is a terrorist act that endangers Israelis living in southern Israel and destroying Israeli territory,” the military statement said about kites and balloons.
At least 125 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during mass rallies along the Gaza border since March 30 and those who sent kites believe they have found an effective new weapon.
Israel’s deadly tactics in the face of Friday’s weekly protests have drawn international condemnation.
Palestinians demand the right to return to the homes they abandoned because they escaped or were expelled when Israel was founded 70 years ago.
Israel says the demonstration was organized by a Hamas Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip and denies Israel’s right to stand as a country.
Israel says Hamas deliberately provokes violence, a charge denied by Hamas.
About two million people live in Gaza, most of them refugees from the country that is now Israel.
The region has been controlled by Hamas for more than a decade, in which they have fought three times against Israel.
Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on the Gaza Strip, on the grounds of security, which has caused the economic crisis and the collapse of living standards there over the past decade.