Firefighters on Thursday battled a brush fire on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza strip that authorities suspect was caused by firebomb-laden kites flown across the security fence by Palestinians.
The fire broke out between two kibbutzim, Kissufim and Ein Hashlosha.
In recent weeks, Gazans have been flying kites into Israel outfitted with Molotov cocktails and containers of burning fuel, setting fire to large swaths of land, including around Kissufim, as drone footage shows.
It has become a widely adopted tactic during the weekly “March of Return” clashes on the Gaza border, which Israel accuses the Hamas terror group of orchestrating as a cover for attacks and attempts to breach the border fence.
The violent demonstrations were meant to end on May 15, but Hamas leaders have said they want them to continue.
In the past month, at least 300 attack kites have been flown across the border, starting hundreds of fires and causing an estimated tens of millions of shekels’ worth of damages.
חשד להצתה ביער כיסופים, סמוך לגבול עזה. שלוש כבאיות הוזעקו למקום.
צילום: דני בן דוד, קק"ל pic.twitter.com/gwav8hvKm7
— ערוץ 20 (@arutz20) May 31, 2018
שריפה ביער כיסופים בסמוך לגבול רצועת עזה. צוותי כיבוי פועלים לכיבוי האש
(צילום: דני בן דוד. יערן קק״ל) pic.twitter.com/Rwpu2MHZRS
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) May 31, 2018
Military planners have begun implementing new measures to combat the assaults, including options drawn from the IDF’s responses to rocket launches and other terror attacks.