Arabs in Gaza sending kites carrying incendiary devices, known as “fire kites”, set off a large-scale fire in a field in Kibbutz Be’eri, a southern Israeli community adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Israeli authorities deemed the fire to be the largest since Gazans adopted the new arson tactic last month during the now-weekly border riots. The blaze burned for six hours, and ten teams of firefighters called to the area worked hard to bring the fire under control.
Arial images taken from a drone showed the extent of the damage, estimated to be thousands of dollars of crops. The fire spread through dozens of acres of grasslands and agricultural fields, authorities explained. Over the last month, the Be’eri Forest has been the scene of multiple such kite fires.
Over the past few weeks, Gazans have regularly sent kites carrying containers of burning fuel into Israel in the hopes of setting off large blazes. The idea was trialed for the first time during the “March of Return” demonstrations, which are expected to culminate in several fierce clashes with the IDF around May 14, the date on which Israel declared independence in 1948.
These mass protests are attended by mixed groups of civilian demonstrators and violent rioters, allowing Hamas to use the protestors as a disguise for its violent activities, such as planting bombs on the border fence, infiltrating into Israeli territory with weapons, and sending these new kite bombs into Israeli territory.
IDF video showing how Hamas uses civilians as human shield and as to disguise its violent rioters.
Hamas is attempting to disguise terror activities as a civilian-led riot pic.twitter.com/WERPSrMtiR
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) April 29, 2018
Hamas is a recognized terror organization, whose goal is to erase all borders and dismantle Israel entirely through the use of force.
Israeli soldiers have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to prevent other fires on Wednesday, in one instance reaching a kite from Gaza bearing a payload of burning fuel as it touched down inside Israel, and spraying it with handheld fire extinguisher canisters.
— חדשות עשר (@news10) May 2, 2018
Video of Israeli soldiers putting out a fire kite from Gaza with fire extinguisher cannisters