by: Ilse Strauss
Friday, 28 June 2019 | The already fire-ravaged southern Israel experienced a particularly devastating day yesterday when an enormous wave of incendiary balloon attacks launched from the Gaza Strip sparked at least 30 blazes in areas around the border. The one-day blitz marks the highest number of fires ignited by Gaza-borne devices in a 24-hour period since the almost daily arson terror attacks began last spring.
According to the figures from the local fire department, yesterday’s more than two dozen blazes puts the number of balloon-related conflagrations at approximately 100 since Sunday. Firefighting units, officials from the Nature and Parks Authority, the Jewish National Fund, the army and a bevy of volunteers joined forces to quench the blazes.
Over the past year, the incendiary devices—crude but effective terror mechanisms comprising a flaming bit of fuel-soaked fabric attached to a helium-inflated balloon, cluster of balloons or explosive device launched from Gaza and carried into Israel by the east winds blowing off the Mediterranean Sea—have gutted thousands of acres of agricultural fields, orchards and grass and woodlands, causing extensive damage to crops and wildlife.
On Tuesday, an incendiary balloon fell on a kindergarten, but failed to detonate and caused no damage. Thankfully, all the children had already gone home for the day. Tragedy was averted—but it could have been much worse. “A firebomb in a kindergarten is just like a missile on a kindergarten,” said local council head Tamir Idan.
Two of yesterday’s 30 blazes ignited in close proximity to residential homes. The fires were, however, extinguished quickly and thus failed to cause damage or injury.
The arson terror attacks translate to a direct violation of the unofficial cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, the terror entity in absolute military and administrative control of the coastal enclave. Retaliating to the increase in incendiary devices, Israel on Tuesday cut the supply of energy fueling the Gaza Strip as a punitive measure.
Hamas responded with shocked outraged. Washing their hands of all responsibility in the past week’s events and effectually turning a blind eye to the waves of burning balloons flying from Gaza into Israel, Hamas officials ironically charged Israel with endangering the terms of the cease-fire.
A series of devastating blazes at the end of May burned up an entire Israeli community and left 50 families destitute as the fires ravaged their homes, leaving nothing but ashes. These Israelis now live in the heartbreaking reality of rebuilding what was destroyed. They are not facing this task alone. Bridges for Peace is coming alongside them, offering the physical means and the helping hand they need so desperately. We need your help as we stand with this community in the midst of rising from the ashes. Your generous donation to our Crisis Assistance Fund will help us meet our pledge goal of US $150,000 to show these hurting people the love of Christians across the world.
Posted on June 28, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 28, 2019)
Photo Credit: Mark Wolfe/FEMA
Photo License: Wikimedia.org
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