MK Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Union), who also serves as a major-general in the IDF's reserves, as well as a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, spoke with Arutz Sheva about how Israel should deal with Gazan kite terror.
According to Ben Reuven, incendiary kites are no different than rocket attacks.
"This is a tool which crosses into sovereign Israel, harms Israel's sovereignty, and causes damage," he said. "Therefore, it is terror, and we need to fight terror. This is war, and we need to find a way to fight the war against rocket terror, just like we found ways to deal with the tunnels and missiles. Terror is flexible and can use various tools, when they see that something failed they found kite terror. It's effective and seeing the economic damage and the burning fields causes severe psychological harm."
"There's no one thing we can do that will end it instantly. I hear ministers saying, 'Let's kill those who fly the kites.' But that's not simple, because there are 10-year-old children and if you kill them you'll hurt yourself. The damage needs to be to those responsible for this, and that's Hamas. We need to hit their various levels hard, and with discretion.
"You can have another Operation Protective Edge, but do we want that? Do we want to make our children, who are on vacation, sit in bomb shelters? We don't want that. These are the considerations that we take into account in Cabinet meetings. We need to take everything into consideration."
Ben Reuven also noted the IDF's attacks on Hamas.
"The defense system acts with proper judgment," he said. "They hit nine Hamas targets, and if this doesn't stop, we'll hit twenty, and we may need to carry out targeted assassinations against their leaders. That is definitely a legitimate step towards eliminating kite terror. We need to act harshly against Hamas, and keep raising the tempo until Hamas understands that it's wort it for them to stop this - and they can absolutely put a stop to it."
"Regarding those flying the kites, if there is information - and our eyes are very strong over there - and you see that the person doing it is 22-23 years old, you can kill him. But if he's a 10-year-old child, you're not going to kill him and you're not going to hurt him. It's not worth the interest."
Ben Reuven also insisted that allowing 10-year-olds to fly incendiary kites will not ensure that kite terror continues indefinitely: "It doesn't work like that. I'm talking about the whole picture. Someone is sending these children, and when that person, who sends these children, knows his life is in danger, he'll stop. But if he knows that there's no danger to him, and he'll remain whole, then he'll send the child, and if the child is killed, that serves his purposes."
"I hear [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett (Jewish Home) or [Public Security Minister Gilad] Erdan (Likud) saying that anyone who holds a kite should be killed. That's simplistic. It doesn't see the whole picture. The Chief of Staff and Command commanders need to think on a wider scale than the politicians, who throw empty words into the air.
"It could be that we will end up with 'Operation Protective Edge' but we need to do that only when there is no option other than war, because there's nothing worse than war. We need to do everything to ensure we don't need to fight a war. But if we do end up fighting a war, we'll need to win it, and to do everything necessary with all of our strength, which is something we didn't do in the past and that's why we didn't win like we needed to have won."