Burning Kites From Gaza Start Fires in Israeli Fields

It took firefighters two hours to douse the flames

A fire at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, May 8, 2018.

Fires erupted throughout wheat fields in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council on the border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. An especially large fire caused damage to the crop near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. No one was injured.

The fires were caused by burning kites launched by Palestinians in Gaza into Israeli territory. It took firefighters two hours to douse the flames.

“Terror kites and balloons have been turning the lives of Gaza-area farmers into an ongoing nightmare recently,” said Amir Rituv, chairman of the Regional Councils Association. “The security forces must work hard to eliminate this phenomenon and prevent it from becoming a sad routine of ongoing terror activity.

“The objective is clear,” he continued. “To damage the State of Israel’s green spaces and to try to destroy every strip of agricultural land. We all hope that the Israel Defense Forces will overcome this obstacle and will succeed in stopping this worrisome phenomenon.”

On Monday there were several fires in agricultural fields around Gaza that firefighters believe were also caused by burning kites or helium balloons carrying flammable substances that originated from the Gaza Strip. According to Eyal Hajbi, the security officer of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, some 400 dunams (100 acres) have been burned by this type of arson.