Palestinians in the Gaza Strip set fire to dozens of acres of southern Israeli farmland on Wednesday using a new airborne weapon of choice: “fire kites.”
The incendiary kites caused a large fire in the Be’eri Forest region of southern Israel near the Gaza border. Dozens of Israeli firefighter teams battled to contain the fire, which wound up burning dozens of acres.
Palestinians in Gaza have been using the “fire kites” in recent weeks as part of the larger “March of Return” protests that began on March 30. The Friday rallies have been orchestrated by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which controls Gaza, as part of an effort to “liberate Palestine.”
The fire on Wednesday was the largest one to date, which spread across dozens of acres of land, and was likely helped spread by dry and windy weather conditions.
So far, 86 acres of farmlands have owned by the Negev Moshavim company have been burned by the recent kite attacks, amounting to nearly $50,000 worth of damage, reported The Jerusalem Post.
Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, called on the Israeli government to find a solution to the issue.
“The issue of [incendiary] kites has preoccupied us very much in recent days and requires an answer,” he said in Yediot Ahronot. “There is damage to the wheat and barley fields [in the area]. The security personnel and the farmers in the settlements are working overtime to extinguish the fires and not to let them spread and cause more damage.”