Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Gaza terrorists launch balloons loaded with flammable materials toward Israel during a night protest near the border with Israel, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 19, 2019.

Terrorists in Gaza have upgraded the technology of their arson balloon attacks on Israel, increasing the number of fires ignited with just one flight, thus maximizing the damage.

More fires have been started each day in the past month, with forest land and agricultural fields once again being burned to the ground by the incendiary balloons launched from Gaza and flown across the border into nearby Israeli communities.

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This newest upgrade involves saturating a very long fuse of the balloon in flammable or explosive liquids, and then attaching it to the Molotov cocktail or homemade bomb.

The balloon drips the flaming liquid as it flies – dropping fireballs along the way – and thereby creating multiple arson attacks instead of simply one upon the terminal impact.

For a low-technology, low-cost weapon, it’s a high-yield win.

And the Israeli military has been largely ineffective in its efforts to combat this form of terrorism. Israel’s political establishment has been altogether ineffective in its own efforts, both in determining an effective military response, and finding any other way to end this threat to the south.

As a security coordinator from a southern Israeli community told Ynet: “This threat should not be taken lightly, and although it sounds non-threatening, it is certainly dangerous and can be lethal.”

To be clear: Less than half of the beautiful forests in southern Israel remain today, thanks to the past 14 months of Gaza arson terror. An entire year’s worth of crops has been destroyed, which will certainly impact the cost of food to the nation, and the cost of living in southern Israel, not to mention the ability of those who make their living as farmers, to fiscally survive.

In one more year, the nation of Israel will once again face the year of Shemittah, and we should already be starting to preserve and stockpile food towards that end. This destruction has disrupted that process.

How much longer should Israel allow Hamas to determine the fate of her southern residents?

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.