The Israeli air force launched air raids on the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday after Palestinians in the besieged enclave sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel, Israel’s military and witnesses in Gaza said. Al Jazeera quotes a statement by the Israeli army as saying it attacked Hamas compounds and that it was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza”. It was not immediately clear if there were casualties in Gaza as a result of the bombings which mark the first major flare-up between Israel and Gaza since a ceasefire on May 21.