Eco-terror attacks on Israeli farmland left fields torched Monday by Molotov terror kites flown across the security fence from Gaza.
Helium balloons bearing rags soaked in kerosene and set aflame touched down in the wheat fields between Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Mefalsim, and grasslands in the Be’eri Forest area, setting both afire.
The damage was estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars – hundreds of thousands of shekels. All of the fires were extinguished by firefighters who raced to the scene; but the loss of the wheat harvest so close to the harvest has cost the farmers – and the state – dearly.
“This is not agricultural terrorism, but actual terrorism,” Ofer Liberman from Kibbutz Nir Am told the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper. He said he didn’t want to imagine what might happen if a combine harvest operator were to be trapped in a field during a fire.
The attacks were carried out in seven different locations in the Gaza Belt region; a wheat field in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district was charred in one case.
The Be’eri Forest in the Eshkol Regional Council district was set aflame in another.
Westerly winds sent the helium balloons with their ignited firebombs (Molotov cocktails) flying towards the Israeli communities.
Once the heat from the IEDs (improvised explosive devices) causes the balloon to explode, the flaming firebomb is dropped into whatever field it has reached, setting the dry ground ablaze.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has reassured the farmers they will be compensated for the loss of their crops – which are nearing harvest – by the State of Israel. He said during a visit to the region on Sunday, “Those who operate terror kites are to be dealt with as if they are launching rockets.”