The Israeli military’s jet fighters have struck several positions in the eastern part of the besieged Gaza Strip, killing four and injuring at least one other Palestinian.
The four Palestinians killed on Monday have been identified as Iyad Jamal al-Jidi, Muataz Amir al-Mubid, Yahya Fareed al-Mubid and Yaaqoub Zaydieh.
The Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, says the four were killed in a blast during “preparations to remove the criminal entity from our occupied land.”
The explosion which killed the four men has apparently taken place at a Palestinian Islamic Jihad military compound in the northern Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya.
Israeli officials have denied any connection to the killing, claiming that the four have died while working on developing a bomb to be used against the occupiers.
The first casualties had been reported by the Israeli TV channel i24 News, which said at least one Palestinian had been killed and five others injured.
The airstrike came after an incendiary balloon launched from the besieged Gaza Strip struck a military base in the occupied territories.
Israel’s Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv said on Monday that the balloon, with a suspicious object attached to it, landed in an army base located in the city of Sderot near the besieged coastal enclave.
The paper added that Israeli bomb disposal units and military sappers were swiftly deployed to the site.
Israel's Channel 12 television network also confirmed on Monday that a group of incendiary balloons had crashed at an Israeli air force base in the occupied territories.
Hamas has warned that it will accept nothing less than the lifting of the Gaza blockade for calm to be restored to southern occupied territories.
Meanwhile a senior Hamas official told the TV channel Palestine Today on Monday that the surge in violence would continue until their demands were met.
“It is our right to break this siege,” Ismail Radwan said in comments capping another day in which terrorists in Gaza sent dozens of incendiary balloons toward Israel, sparking at least 36 fires in towns bordering the coastal enclave.