The Gaza arson attacks using balloons and kites have destroyed significant amounts of land and killed many animals. Last week, torching a car was added to the list. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed posted a video on Thursday showing a jeep in flames. “Imagine if YOUR car in YOUR neighborhood went up in flames. This just happened—an explosive balloon launched from #Gaza at #Israel set this car on fire,” said the Tweet caption. According to a report in The Times of Israel, the vehicle that was set ablaze by the arson balloon when it drove over the incendiary object, setting the fuel system on fire. While there were no injuries, the car was notably damaged.
An even more serious attack occurred the same day, as an explosive device apparently attached to a balloon landed in a kindergarten playground, according to same article in The Times of Israel. The school was evacuated and the explosive device was safely removed by Israeli security forces.
That hasn’t been the only threat to children by Gazan explosives. The IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed also posted a picture of a cluster of colorful balloons along with a larger balloon featuring a cartoon character—and a bomb attached. “It’s safe to say that most children would be attracted to these balloons. However, these balloons are far from safe—they were launched by terrorists in #Gaza and landed in #Israel. An explosive was attached to the balloons,” said the Twitter post.
While these attacks are just some of many sent by Gaza Palestinians against Israeli civilians, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin noted that the tensions in the Gaza region risk raising tensions in the Judea and Samaria region (West Bank) as well.
“This is a very sensitive and volatile period in the Palestinian theater. Events in Gaza have a direct effect on what happens in Judea and Samaria, and in addition to the security situation there is a complex civilian reality on the ground. All these could lead to a significant escalation,” said Rivlin in comments released by his office.
The Israeli President was addressing soldiers in the IDF Judea and Samaria Division on Sunday. He further noted, “The ability of the division to act with determination on one hand and with sensitivity on the other, differentiating between terrorism and combat and the routine of daily life, this is what has brought the division and its brigades such significant achievements in fighting terrorism whilst maintaining the delicate pattern of daily life.”
Meanwhile, United States Special Representative for International Negotiation Jason Greenblatt—a key figure in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians—met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. According to his Twitter feed, Greenblatt said that Gaza was a point of discussion among other “important topics.”
Gaza has been on Greenblatt’s mind lately. Last Thursday—the same day as the above mentioned balloon attacks—Greenblatt happened to again slam the Hamas leadership in Gaza on Twitter.
Said Greenblatt, “As the wheels literally come off in #Gaza, HAMAS doubles down on vicious incitement while the Palestinian people pay the price. The Palestinian people deserve leadership that will give them a chance for a future of peace and prosperity not bloodshed and violence.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, November 4, 2018)