Fire burning in a scorched wheat field near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, along the border with the Gaza strip, caused by incendiaries tied to kites flown by Palestinians across the border. (Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Terror Kites Escalating to Stronger Balloons with Explosives Attached

What began as a simple child’s toy being weaponized by adding a burning tail that drops to the ground and ignites the area around it has undergone a number of improvements to the point where the “attack vehicle” is now a balloon to which an explosive device is connected. Like the kites, the payload floats into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip and in many cases touches off significant and destructive fires. Officials explain that while each unit is not necessarily a great threat, the numbers of kites/balloons launched is increasing along with the danger to Israeli communities located along the border with the Gaza Strip. Israeli sources report kites/balloons are now coming into Israeli territory day and night with at least 12 fires resulting from the incursions every day. In addition to the increase in destructive fires come an increased danger from the improvised explosive devices that are being used instead of flaming kite tails. Residents of the border towns – and children in particular – are being urged to avoid touching any unknown object seen on the ground.

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