Gaza's rulers Hamas confirmed one of its sites had been struck while Israel's military said it had hit a Hamas weapons manufacturing site. No casualties reported on either side.

A machinery works to remove the debris atop a building damaged in Israeli air strikes during the fighting between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City
A machinery works to remove the debris atop a building damaged in Israeli air strikes during the fighting between Israel and Hamas, in Gaza City (Mohammed Salem / Reuters)

Israel's military has bombed a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip overnight in response to what it said were incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Gaza's rulers Hamas confirmed one of its sites had been struck. Israel's military said it had hit a Hamas weapons manufacturing site. 

There were no reports of casualties.

Since a May 21 ceasefire ended 11 days of Israel-Hamas fighting, Palestinians in Gaza have sporadically launched balloons laden with incendiary material across the border, causing fires that have burned fields in Israel.

Palestinians say the balloons aim to pressure Israel to ease restrictions on the coastal enclave that were tightened during the May fighting.

Balloon launches had ebbed after Israel eased some restrictions on Gaza last week. 

But on Thursday, balloons were again launched from Gaza, causing at least four brush fires near Israeli cities along the border.

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"In response to the arson balloon fire towards Israeli territory today IDF (Israeli military) fighter jets struck (a) weapons manufacturing site belonging (to) Hamas," the military said in a statement.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the Israeli strikes a "showy reaction" and said Palestinians were "putting pressure on (Israel), forcing it to respect the rights of our people and to walk back its unjust positions."

The strikes came after Israel cut by half the fishing zone off the blockaded coastal territory, a common response following projectile attacks by armed groups in Gaza.

Israel's army had no immediate comment on the strikes.

But the military branch responsible for civil affairs in the Palestinian territories (COGAT) said the fishing zone had been reduced from 12 nautical miles to six.

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Earlier on Sunday, Israeli firefighters said they extinguished brush blazes at three spots in the Eshkol region near the border, blaming "incendiary balloons" as the cause.

The balloons are basic devices intended to set fire to farmland surrounding the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.

On July 12, Israel announced it was re-expanding the fishing zone off Gaza and allowing additional imports into the Palestinian territory but warned the measure could be reversed in response to fresh unrest.

An 11-day conflict in May saw Israel launch hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, and Hamas fire thousands of rockets at Israel.

Prior to the May conflict, the Gaza fishing zone was 15 nautical miles, but Israel reduced it during the warfare.

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There has been sporadic unrest since a ceasefire ended the conflict, with incendiary balloons launched from Gaza and Israeli reprisal air strikes targeting facilities belonging to Hamas. No casualties have been reported.

The last time balloons from Gaza caused a fire in Israel was early this month.

Egypt and the United Nations have stepped up mediation efforts over the Israeli strikes and Gaza balloon launches, though the incidents have not led to a broader escalation.

At least 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel were killed in the May fighting, which saw Gaza militants fire rockets towards Israeli cities and Israel carry out air strikes across the coastal enclave.

Source: AFP