Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, IDF Spokesperson for Foreign Media, at the scene where mortar fire from Gaza hit a home in southern Israel, May 30, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The IDF was given new orders to deal with Gaza-based terrorists who have launched rockets at Israel’s south and ignited more than 1,000 fires, destroying more than 8,200 acres of forest and agricultural land.

The IDF on Sunday was given orders by the government to attack the arson terrorists directly rather than firing warning shots, as has been their conduct up until now.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) in four instances attacked a squad that was launching arson balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

“The IDF is determined to continue to defend Israeli civilians and is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios, which may intensify according to the situation assessment and the operational requirements,” the IDF stated.

“The IDF views the launching of arson balloons and kites with great severity and will continue to operate with increasing force against those who carry out this type of terror activity,” it added.

Tensions remained high on the border with Gaza after an extremely violent weekend during which Gaza-based terrorists fired some 200 rockets at Israel, and in response, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out the largest wave of daytime strikes against Hamas terror targets in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, bombing some 40 terror targets.

In accordance with the situation assessment, the IDF on Sunday evening reinforced its Iron Dome aerial defense batteries in the Gush Dan area in central Israel and in southern Israel. In addition, several reserve soldiers were called up to reinforce the Aerial Defense Array.