Gazans fly kite with petrol bomb into Israel, where it starts fire in field

Third such incident in recent days causes small blaze in field of Kibbutz Kissufim adjacent to border

Illustrative: Palestinians try to use a kite to fly a Molotov Cocktail toward IDF troops along the Gaza fence on April 13 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Palestinians try to use a kite to fly a Molotov Cocktail toward IDF troops along the Gaza fence on April 13 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Palestinians on Sunday flew a kite carrying a fire bomb over the border from Gaza into Israel, where it caused a small fire in an agricultural field adjacent to the Hamas-controlled territory.

The Molotov cocktail started a fire in a field outside Kibbutz Kissufim, a Jewish community bordering the central Gaza Strip. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, preventing major damage. No injuries were reported.

Immediately after the incident, the Eshkol regional council issued a stark warning to residents, telling them to be on alert for repeat attacks.

“In the last 24 hours, there have been several cases of kite flying with Molotov cocktails from the strip to our territory,” the council said in a statement. “In all cases, the bottles fell close to the border and caused fires, without casualties… The public is asked to be alert and to report on any unusual incident of fires in the area.”

עפיפוני תבערה

שוב: עפיפון עם בקבוק תבערה מעזהלכל הפרטים:

Posted by ‎החדשות – N12‎ on Sunday, April 15, 2018

The incident was the third time in the past week that Palestinians started blazes using Molotov cocktails flown into Israel on reconfigured kites, Walla news reported.

On Wednesday and on Friday, firefighters also responded to fires in fields near Kibbutz Be’eri. After extinguishing the flames, firefighters discovered the blazes had been started by Molotov cocktails attached to kites.

In another such attempt on Friday, a kite with a fire bomb crashed within Gaza.

Some 10,000 Palestinians took part in violent protests along the border on Friday, spread out among five central locations, the army said. They hurled an explosive device and firebombs at Israeli troops deployed at the border, during what the Israel Defense Forces described as “several attempts” to damage the fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and cross over into Israeli territory.

Israeli troops responded with tear gas and some rubber bullets, as well as with live fire, the army said.

Military sources were quoted telling Israel’s Channel 10 television that “Hamas operatives were at the forefront” of what they said were hours of riots, as opposed to the peaceful protests that the original organizers of the weekly marches claimed to have planned.

Rioters torched tires and burned large Israeli flags, as well as posters of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister. Large plumes of black smoke from burning tires rose into the sky.

The army, which has accused Hamas and other terror groups of using the smoke as cover for efforts to bomb the border, said it used live fire and crowd dispersal methods, in accordance with IDF open-fire regulations. Military sources quoted by Channel 10 said IDF snipers had orders to fire at the ankles of violent attackers.

“The IDF will not permit damage to the security fence or infrastructure that protects Israeli citizens and will act against the violent rioters and terrorists involved,” the army said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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