Arson balloons launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have caused 12 fires in southern Israel so far Wednesday.

Firefighters are battling blazes in the Ashkelon Coast, Eshkol and Sdot Negev regional councils.

One of the balloons landed in the yard of a house in the Sha'ar Hanegev council and did not cause any injuries or damage.

Earlier, the tax authority revealed that last week it thwarted an attempt to smuggle tens of thousands of helium balloons into Gaza. The balloons were discovered during an inspection by customs officials in Ashdod in order to thwart the smuggling of weapons.

The balloons were being moved in two containers of old clothing items imported by Gazan importers. The containers were seized and the matter was transferred to the security forces for further investigation. Read more at Arutz-7