The Israeli military said early Wednesday that it had conducted airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, after officials said that the militant group Hamas had sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel from Gaza, in the first eruption of hostilities since an 11-day air war between Israel and Hamas ended last month.

The Israeli military said that it “struck military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organization, which were used as facilities and meeting sites for terror operatives in Hamas’ Khan Yunis and Gaza Brigades.” Palestinian news reports said that one of the strikes caused property damage, but there were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza, a densely populated urban strip.

The day of rising tensions was the first test of a new Israeli coalition government just three days into its term. It started when the government permitted a far-right Jewish march to pass through Palestinian areas of Jerusalem on Tuesday night, over the objections of Arab and leftist parties in the coalition, and despite threats from Hamas that it would retaliate….more