IDF Warns That They Could Strike Back Against Hamas for Use of Fiery Kites
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) warned on June 5 that they may have to launch retaliatory strikes against Hamas for their use of fiery kites against Israel.
According to Haaretz, IDF Brig. Gen. Yossi Bachar gave senior United States military official to opportunity to survey the damage from the kites at the Gaza border, suggesting that the military is preparing for action.
Ever since the riots at the Israel-Gaza border started, protesters used kites that were either lit on fire or had attached explosives on them and flew them into Israeli territory. The result has been 9,000 dunams (approximately 2200 acres) of land destroyed in Israel, according to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Firefighters have had to deal with at least nine fires raging in Israel on June 5 from the kites, most of which were in the Eshkol region.
Consequently, Israeli military officials think they can’t show any more “restraint,” per Haaretz.
“We will settle accounts with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the rest of the terrorists acting against us from the Gaza Strip,” Lieberman said in a speech in the Knesset.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on June 3 that funds allocated to the Palestinian Authority would instead be diverted to Israeli farmers whose fields were destroyed by the fires.
Farmers have seen their wheat and irrigation lines destroyed by the fires and there has been some serious damage to forests and parks, prompting the Jewish National Fund to sue Hamas for “environment terrorism” under international law.
“It’s not easy, but we have strength and it won’t break us,” Daniel Rahamim, who supervises irrigation at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, told the Jerusalem Post. “We know we are here because this is our mission – to raise children here and live our lives. It is our home and we won’t give up.”