Residents of the Gaza border communities demand IDF and defense establishment put an end to incendiary kites and balloons phenomenon as another wave of fires hits the region, burning many acres of land and killing animals.
Matan Tzuri|Published: 06.28.18 , 21:54

Around 20 fires broke out on Thursday in various areas in south Israel along the Gaza border due to incendiary balloons being flown from the strip, with the largest conflagration erupting in Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Alumim.

Fires also broke out throughout the course of the day in the Regional Councils of Eshkol, Sedot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev, as well as in several nature reserves, costing the lives of many animals.

Reptile carcasses were found in the areas that had been incinerated by the flames.

Firefighters, along with local security coordinators and volunteers, were still battling to extinguish the flames by the late evening.

Residents of the Gaza border communities are demanding that the IDF and the defense establishment put a stop to the phenomenon of incendiary kites and balloons, which has been wreaking havoc in the area for the last three months and which has burned more than 30,000 acres of land.

One Kibbutz Be’eri resident explained how the community reacts each time fires are spotted in the area.

“We have an observation post on one of the roofs and we do shifts to guard the area. Once we notice a fire, we deploy our forces there. We work in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and Keren Kayemet,” he said.

“Our forces are mainly us, the residents … if we won’t do it then no one will. The communities’ security coordinators are working overtime. We’re using all of our agricultural tools in order to stop fires from spreading. It has turned into an actual war,” vented the resident.

Racheli, a Kibbutz Alumim local described the events saying “Heavy smoke has covered the Kibbutz. It’s suffocating. It has become a part of our daily life and it’s unbearable.”,7340,L-5298845,00.html
12 fires rage in the Negev from terror kites, balloons – Jerusalem Post

At least 12 fires raged in the Israeli south on Sunday as a result of incendiary kites launched from Gaza, according to KKL-JNF. Six of the fires were sparked in the Beeri Forest, five in the Kisufim Forest and one next to the Simhoni Forest, some 400 meters away from Kfar Aza, as a result of an incendiary balloon.

In total, there have been over 450 fires on land managed by KKL-JNF, with over 7,500 dunam of land affected. Most of the damage done lately has been from incendiary balloons rather than from kites, according to KKLJNF Western Negev regional director Daniel Ben-David.

In addition, the police reported several incidents of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip landing in populated and open areas on Sunday. Police bomb disposal experts arrived at the scene and neutralized the threats.

Police units called upon the public to notify and make contact via the 100 emergency number if they see any suspicious objects.

The Lachish district police spokesman Shimon Cohen told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that police did not have data on how many incendiary kites and balloons had been handled by police since the start of the phenomenon in March.

“We treat them as suspicious objects in every respect. There have been dozens of balloons and kites, almost all of them incendiary. There were a few cases of explosives,” Cohen added.

On Saturday, 10 fires broke out on Israeli land close to the Gaza border, including in Kisufim, Beeri and Ein HaShlosha.