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The Kites that Set Southern Israel Ablaze

July 9, 2018
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Hundreds of burning terror kites and balloons launched. More than 3,035 hectares (7,500 ac.) of forest and agricultural land turned to ash. Flocks of wildlife suffocated or burnt. Tens of millions of shekels in damage. A terror regime set on death and destruction…

“The Islamist rulers of Gaza aren’t clamoring for a two-state solution. Hamas’s goal remains Israel’s violent eradication. But since their efforts to continue the war via rocket barrages and tunnels dug under the border to facilitate murder and kidnapping raids have been thwarted by Israeli countermeasures, Hamas has switched tactics…” —Jonathan S. Tobin in “The Blood Isn’t on Trump’s Hands”

 Hamas’s New Take on Terror

Israeli officer showing terror kite with incendiary device attached (Photo: Maria Elkin/Ashernet)

“It looks romantic—a small boy is flying a kite, something that seems to be from a movie like Mary Poppins—but the truth is different. These are terror attacks, with IEDs, which are trying to harm Israel.” —IDF Intelligence Directorate Head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heyman

“We’ll go out to burn the settlers’ lands. Our unit has burned tens of thousands of dunams and military outposts. We’ll turn our lands into fire under their legs.” —A press release by Gaza’s self-declared Incendiary Kites and Balloons unit

“We will continue with all of our strength until we achieve our goals. The settlers will not live in security and stability… We’ll cause the residents… to live under a siege of the fire of incendiary kites and balloons. The kites unit [has] prepared a target list of all of the sites and special facilities and of all of the agricultural areas so we can burn them all.” —A member of Gaza’s self-declared Incendiary Kites and Balloons unit

“‎We will break the siege on Gaza even if we have to ‎send hundreds of thousands of kites over the border. ‎We have plenty of surprises in store for the Zionist ‎enemy.” —A Hamas spokesman, referring to the security ‎blockade Egypt and Israel placed on the coastal enclave to ensure that weapons do not fall into Hamas’s hands

Hamas: The Motivation behind the Burning Kites

(Photo: Screenshot/YouTube/VNS Phuot)

“The Hamas terror organization is accountable for all violence emanating from the Gaza Strip and it will bear the consequences” —IDF Spokesperson

“We will take down the border with Israel and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies.” —Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip

“When we are brave, we are getting closer toward martyrdom, martyrdom, martyrdom. “We say to Nikki Haley, to Netanyahu, to the criminal Lieberman, we are afraid neither of death nor of martyrdom.” —Ismail Radwan, Senior Hamas leader

“Hamas is not prepared to divert a single dollar from its spending on tunnels and missiles for the good of the Gaza residents. $260 million was invested by Hamas in 2017 in building tunnels and in manufacturing rockets, and they’re not ready to spend even a dollar on health services or water and electricity infrastructure.” —Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman

“A necessary precondition for peace is recognition of reality. One of those realities is that Hamas is a major impediment to peace. They are in charge of Gaza, and they use their resources not to help the people of Gaza but to wage war against Israel.” —US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley

“At what point do the Palestinians start holding Hamas accountable for the decisions it makes?” —Jim Garaghty, in “When Will the Palestinians Start Holding Hamas Accountable?”

Beyond the Charred Ruins

An Israeli child flying a kite (Photo: Mark Neyman/GPO)

A project was launched to photograph scenes from a bike-ride along a popular trail in Israel’s scorched south to “create something beautiful” out of the burnt landscape and to show that “everything is not over. Despite the fires, and despite all the landmass which has been affected, rather than leave, the land can still be visited, now is the time to go and ride there.” —Photographer Benny Deutsch

“As opposed to our neighbors from the Gaza Strip who have turned the wonderful hobby of flying kites into an act of terrorism, with terrible damage to agriculture, the children of Sderot and the surrounding communities are returning the kite to its source… Ours are kites of life, not death.” —Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, ahead of a kite-making workshop hosted for children in southern Israel

(Photo: nuzree/pixabay)

“The kites phenomenon destroyed a lot of forests and groves, and we decided to give back to nature what has been taken from it. Beyond the financial damage, there’s also damage to the Gaza border residents’ morale, and we have decided to change this reality. The residents are coming together—families and children—to plant trees. We’re motivated by the slogan: ‘They’re burning, and we’re planting.’” — Member of Kibbutz Kfar Aza Ofir Libenstein, during a tree-planting ceremony

Israel’s Response

“We will continue defending the Gaza border communities. We won’t grow tired and won’t lose sight of our values.” —Commander of the Gaza Division’s Northern Brigade Col. Avi Rosenfeld

“The IDF views the use of incendiary balloons and kites with explosive devices attached to them with great severity and will operate to prevent their use.” —IDF Spokesperson

“It is impossible to hermetically seal the sky. But we are looking for solutions and I am sure we will find a solution. The trick is to strengthen deterrence and prevent the launch itself.” —Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Source: See individual quotes

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