Israeli drone strikes on balloon launchers in eastern Gaza

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Palestinians fly balloons loaded with flammable material to be thrown at the Israeli side near the Israel-Gaza border in the central Gaza Strip on June 4, 2018. (REUTERS)

The group members said in a press statement published in Gaza local media that they succeeded in a test of expanding the release of flaming balloons to a distance of 45 km far from eastern Gaza Strip into Israel.

On Sunday, a group of Palestinians, calling themselves "the Children of Zawari", claimed responsibility for releasing dozens of incendiary balloons from eastern Gaza Strip into Israel, causing huge fires into agricultural fields into southern Israel.

Gaza Health Ministry said that 135 Palestinians had been killed since March 300 and more than 14,000 were injured. Around half of them were shot by live ammunitions, while many are still in critical condition.

Activists from the Gaza Strip have been releasing flaming kites and balloons from eastern Gaza Strip into Israel since the beginning of the rallies and protests, known as the "Great Marches of Return" on March 300.

Since March 300, the national commission of the "Great Marches of Return" has been organizing rallies, protests and demonstrations on every Friday in five separate locations in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.

On June 9, the Israeli army began to fire missiles at launchers of flaming kites and balloons in eastern Gaza Strip. So far, the Israeli army had failed to prevent activists from launching and releasing kites and balloons into Israel.

GAZA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli army drone fired on Sunday afternoon a warning missile at young Palestinians who were releasing flaming balloons from eastern Gaza into Israel, no injuries reported, according to local media and security sources in Gaza.

"We certify to our people that we will intensify firing the incendiary balloons into all the occupied cities (in Israel), after it had reached yesterday the city of Beit Shemesh, 45 km northeast of the Gaza Strip," the statement said.

The group called itself after Mohamed Zawari, a Tunisian man and a drones maker, who was recruited by Hamas armed wing and was assassinated by Israel in Tunisia two years ago.