(June 14, 2018 / JNS) In a show of hope and defiance in the face of the hundreds of “terror kites” and flaming helium balloons launched into southern Israel by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, the children of the southern town of Sderot gathered to make colorful kites and fly them for an afternoon of enjoyment.
Kites and balloons affixed with incendiary devices have been flown into Israel by Gazans since March 30, when the Hamas terror organization, which controls Gaza, began “March of Return” riots at the Israeli border.
Thousands of acres of farm land and nature reserves inside Israel have been destroyed, with losses in the millions of shekels.
On Monday, officials in Sderot—a town that has been the target of thousands of rocket attacks in the last decade—hosted parents and children for a kite-making workshop, including storytelling about the history of the kite. Participants received complete kite-making kits and then joined the kids in flying their creations in the sky.
“As opposed to our neighbors from the Gaza Strip, who have turned the wonderful hobby of flying kites into an act of terrorism, with terrible damage to agriculture, the children of Sderot and the surrounding communities are returning the kite to its source—from preparation to flying it into the sky and hoping that it will not fall,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said in a statement.
“We are busy with positive things and optimism, and the desire that our children always be happy. I also call on the children of Gaza to enjoy playing with kites and not be drawn astray by terrorist elements. Ours are kites of life, not death.”
Joining the effort to restore nature following the arson fires, the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) kicked off a week-long planting campaign by distributing thousands of tree seedlings to residents of Gaza border communities.