Damage from kite terrorism: 5 million shekels

Finance Minister says government to expedite compensation to farmers whose land and crops were damaged by Gaza fire kites.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Weaponized kite tail
Weaponized kite tail
Flash 90

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon addressed the phenomenon of agricultural and kite terrorism which have caused severe damage along the Gaza periphery during the weekly Kulanu faction meeting Monday.

Kahlon said that the damage caused by the fires set by kites attached to firebombs had reached five million shekels ($1.4 million).

"In the last few months, agriculture in Israel has been under attack, and in the south, the communities around the Gaza Strip are suffering from constant attacks of kite terrorism," he said. "And in the north and throughout the country there is a widespread phenomenon of agricultural crime and vandalism."

"About a month ago, when the fire kites started, I arrived in the Gaza envelope and declared that the State of Israel recognizes the phenomenon as terrorism for all intents and purposes and that the residents will be compensated until the last shekel. To date, 25 claims have been opened, including some 5,000 dunams (1235 acres) of wheat, orchards and irrigation systems. All claims are in advanced stages of processing," he said.

Kahlon noted that the advance payments on these amounts will be paid soon. "In order to make it easier for the farmers to pass through this difficult period, we decided today to give advances of 50% of the estimated damage and the rest will be treated as quickly as possible without delays."

"A few hours ago, I held a discussion with the Minister of Agriculture, in which we decided to advance NIS 16 million for subsidized insurance for farmers who will be affected by agricultural crime in the coming month," the minister added.

He added that "this is part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate the agricultural crime that we are forming with the Ministries of Agriculture and Homeland Security, and as part of the plan we will strengthen the security forces in the relevant areas, we will intensify the punishment and impose increased fines on the criminals."

"We see agriculture and the preservation of the land of Israel as a supreme value and an important economic sector, and the government of Israel stands by the farmers during the difficult period they are going through - we will not abandon them," concluded Minister Kahlon