Israel’s army launched new air strikes on Sunday against Hamas positions in Gaza and closed the fishing zone around the Palestinian enclave in response to rockets and firebombs sent into Israeli territory.

The measures came after a week of heightened tensions, including clashes on Saturday evening along the Gaza-Israeli border, the army said.

Dozens of Palestinian rioters burned tyres, hurled explosive devices and grenades towards the security fence and attempted to approach it,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

Long-simmering Palestinian anger has flared further since Israel and the UAE on Thursday agreed to normalise relations, a move Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause by the Gulf country.

Over the past week Israeli forces have carried out repeated night-time strikes on targets linked to the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

The army says they were carried out in response to makeshift firebombs attached to balloons and kites which have been sent into southern Israel, causing thousands of fires on Israeli farms and communities.

There were 19 such Palestinian attacks on Saturday alone, according to Israeli rescue services.

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