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As fields burn, IDF mulls use of multi-rotor drones against Palestinian ‘fire kites’

About 86 acres of grain fields have been burned in the fires, at a cost of nearly NIS 175,000 ($48,000).

A fire in the Be’eri Forest region of southern Israel on Wednesday ignited by Palestinian “fire kites.” Credit: Screenshot.
A fire in the Be’eri Forest region of southern Israel on Wednesday ignited by Palestinian “fire kites.” Credit: Screenshot.

Palestinian demonstrators continued to launch kites fitted with firebombs from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Thursday in the hopes of sparking fires.

The incendiary kites caused blazes in several locations near Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel. A large contingent of firefighters was deployed to the area.

The Israel Defense Forces is exploring more intensive measures to combat the threat, reported Kan Public Broadcasting. Among the measures being considered is the deployment of multi-rotor drones to intercept the kites before they cross into Israel. The army is also weighing the option of shooting at those who launch the kites, according to the report.

Kibbutz Kissufim spokesman Benny Hasson told Israel Hayom that the incendiary kite phenomenon must be stopped.

“There was a huge fire next to the kibbutz, which erupted in two separate spots. The whole kibbutz was covered in smoke,” he said. “The arson is disrupting the residents’ daily lives, and the wave of fires caused by the incendiary kites is causing a great deal of damage to our fields. We thank the firefighters for the job they are doing day and night, and everyone else who is involved in making sure the fires don’t spread into the communities themselves.”

About 86 acres of grain fields have been burned in the fires, at a cost of nearly NIS 175,000 ($48,000). Over the past three weeks, dozens of fires have been sparked by the firebomb kites in wooded areas and on agricultural land near the border.

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