Israeli forces again defuse hidden bomb at Gaza border

Israeli security forces disarmed a bomb near a fence on the border with Gaza — along with balloons intended to carry explosives over the barrier, the Israeli army said Friday.

This photograph shows an explosive device found Friday at the Gaza-Israel border. Israeli officials blamed Hamas, Gaza's governing authority, for planting the device. Photo courtesy Israel Defense Force/Twitter
This photograph shows an explosive device found Friday at the Gaza-Israel border. Israeli officials blamed Hamas, Gaza’s governing authority, for planting the device. Photo courtesy Israel Defense Force/Twitter

The bomb at the border was the second of its kind found this week. The Israeli Defense Force said it was found beneath a dirt pile near the Gazan city of Khan Younis, with a remote detonation device.

The explosive was successfully disarmed. The first bomb, which was larger than the one discovered on Friday, was detonated safely Thursday.

The IDF blamed Hamas for the explosives, the governing authority in Gaza, for what it called an attempted attack.

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“Hamas continues to try to harm defensive infrastructure and security forces in the security fence area, while using residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields and as cover for terrorist activities,” the IDF said in a statement.

The balloons apparently traveled over the Gaza-Israel border and were found Friday in a playground in the Israeli town of Kiryat Gat.

What appeared to be a combustible fuse was hidden in the balloons. It was the second time on Friday that balloons with improvised explosives were discovered in Kiryat Gat. In both cases, the devices were safely removed.

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The incidents raise fears among Israelis of a return of tensions at the border, which had recently been eased while Israel and Hamas engages in in indirect cease-fire talks.

Several thousand Palestinians have demonstrated at the border this week, throwing rocks at IDF personnel on the other side of the fence.

ByEd Adamczyk