'Terror kites' spark 11 fires in southern Israel

Forested areas burned by kite terror attacks now larger than areas burned during 2014 Hamas rocket attacks.

Gary Willig,

Firefighters extinguish fire in wheat field caused by Gaza incendiary kites
Firefighters extinguish fire in wheat field caused by Gaza incendiary kites
Flash 90

Eleven separate fires have been sparked in the south by incendiary devices sent across the border by terrorists using kites in the Gaza Strip Sunday.

Over the last few weeks, terrorists in Gaza have attempted to set fires in Israeli territory through the flying of kites and balloons attached to incendiary devices such as firebombs.

Over 4,000 dunams (approximately 1,000 acres) of Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) owned forests have been burned since the arson attacks began.

Danny Ben David, director of the western Negev region at the JNF, explained to Israel Hayom that the amount of forest burned by the incendiary kites and balloons in recent weeks has exceeded the total which was burned during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when Hamas terrorists launched over 4,500 rockets and mortars at Israel.

"During Protective Edge, 3,500 dunams of forest were burned and now with the kite terror we have crossed this huge number. It's simply a scandal. I've already passed the stage of grief, now I'm just terribly angry," Ben David said.

Ben-David has spent the last few months putting out the fires in the Gaza vicinity. He and others run from fire to fire and try to minimize the irreversible damage. JNF personnel have also found animal carcasses in the area: burnt turtles, bird nests, as well as destroyed eucalyptus and pine trees. The damage to entire species remains unknown.

Ben-David noted that there is no end to the kite terrorism in sight. "We run from fire to fire. We do not have time to think about anything else. On Friday we were here until 8 pm, and it was the same yesterday. It was crazy."

Seventeen fires were caused by kite terrorism on Saturday.


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