Israeli Air Force jet fighters, as well as attack helicopters and IDF tanks, struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight following incendiary balloon launches, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said early Thursday morning.
 "Explosive balloons continued to be launched from Gaza into Israel today, causing fires on land across southern Israel," the IDF said on Twitter. "In response, we just struck Hamas targets in Gaza, including a military compound, underground infrastructure & observation posts." The IDF "takes all terrorist activity toward Israeli territory very seriously and will do all necessary to thwart attempts to harm Israeli citizens," the Spokesperson continued.
 Hamas "holds responsibility for all that is happening inside and from the Gaza Strip, and it will suffer the consequences of terrorist activity against Israeli citizens."

Israeli society is fractured and fragile, and threatened from within by those who would spread “malignant hate” between its many tribes and communities. So argues one of the most wildly viral videos to ever cross the collective consciousness of Hebrew-speaking Israelis, urging in response “to seal an alliance of moderates with all those who understand the challenge of living together.” Friedman has been an active lawmaker in that short time, challenging the Education Ministry on its preparations for a school year in the shadow of the pandemic, and railing at the impact of spending cuts brought on by the budget impasse in the Knesset on Israel’s underprivileged and youth at risk.The video is short, a speech in the Knesset by a little-known lawmaker named Tehila Friedman, a backbencher in the Blue and White party who only entered parliament two months ago after Michael Biton, now a “minister in the defense ministry,” resigned his Knesset seat to clear the way.


A Church of England vicar has tapped in to her Chinese cultural heritage and is using chopsticks to give bread to parishioners during Holy Communion. The Rev Eileen Harrop took an unusual approach to the challenge faced by clergy who are reopening churches for public worship while sticking to Covid-19 safety protocols. The vicar of St Mary's in Gainford and St Andrew's in Winston, County Durham, decided that the best way to administer the bread at the Eucharist was to use extra-long serving chopsticks. She has Chinese heritage, grew up in Singapore and has an enduring love of Asian cuisine, so felt confident in using the utensils for the sacred act and has now carried out services using them at both churches she serves. Rev Harrop said: "Many of my parishioners were quite anxious at the thought of taking communion, even though we are only permitted to do so under strict guidelines to ensure that there is no chance of transmission of the virus. "I thought 'Why can't I use a long pair of chopsticks, real bread rather than wafers, and drop it into the communicants' hands?'