Four incendiary terror-kites landed in southern Israel on Tuesday, as Israeli defense officials mulled over easing restrictions on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, after days of calm following an uptick in violence last week.
The Times of Israel reported that, according to local government sources, four arson balloons with incendiary devices attached to them had reached Israel’s southern communities, but failed to spark a fire when they landed outside Kibbutz Erez in the Sha’ar Hanegev region.
The latest round of attacks from Gaza, where the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas exercises complete political and military control, came as Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met with senior security officials to discuss reopening the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Gaza.
It was not immediately clear if the news of the latest incident had reached Liberman or would affect his decision.
An unnamed Israeli official clarified, however, that the removal of restrictions on the coastal enclave was dependent upon an end to airborne arson attacks against southern Israel, as well as to clashes along the border.
Around 9,000 Palestinians participated Friday in violent border riots, as part of the Hamas-orchestrated “March of Return” that has been going on since March. Some of the rioters threw makeshift bombs, Molotov cocktails and rocks at Israeli soldiers, while others burned tires to create a smokescreen to breach the border fence and infiltrate into Israel.
Senior Israel officials maintain the country has not agreed to a ceasefire that Hamas announced late Thursday and said went into effect at midnight. Israel clarified, however, that any long-term agreement, which would put an end to the violence in and around Gaza, needs to include a stop of all incendiary terror-kite attacks from the Strip.
Over 7,000 acres of land have so far been burned by incendiary terror-kites and balloons from Gaza, causing millions of dollars in damages, according to Israeli officials. Earlier this month, United States ambassador to Israel David Friedman hailed the joint efforts by Israeli and American firemen to battle the ongoing blazes caused by incendiary airborne devices launched from the Hamas-controlled territory.
“They demonstrated an amazing solidarity between the American people and the Israeli people. It’s an act of true friendship and true love and I think the people here know that if the United States would need help, the Israelis would come to the United States to help,” Friedman said.
[Photo: Haaretz / YouTube ]