Gaza fire bombs burn Israeli crops

Four fire bombs attached to kites were flown over the border fence into Israel from Gaza yesterday, as part of the continuing violence on the border.

Twenty five acres of wheat fields in Israel, adjacent to Gaza were destroyed before the blaze could be extinguished. A local farmer from the Sha’ar Hanegev region said that the tactic was “gaining momentum,” adding that “almost every day, we see the kites flying towards us”.

The “Sons of Zouari” militant group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the attacks, named after Mohammed Zouari, a member of Hamas’s military wing who developed drones and underwater vehicles to attack Israel. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, a member of the group said: “These are our lands, and we have the right to return to them. We say to them, we will not let them sow our lands and enjoy them.”

The interviewee praised Zouari’s “new ideas and methods of resistance,” adding that the group has “managed to implement this idea in a simplified way”.

During the riots at the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, Palestinians flew a kite with a large swastika and a petrol bomb into Israel. Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam has confirmed the main goal of the protests is to breach the border fence and outlined the tactics used by special teams of Hamas operatives to tear the fence using hooks. Further rioting and attempts to break through the fence are expected this Friday.

In a related development, two Palestinians were apprehended armed with a grenade and knife after attempting to infiltrate into Israel this morning.

Hamas has refused to engage with Egypt in reconciliation talks aimed at establishing a unity Government with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Hamas even refused to send a representative to Cairo for fresh talks, despite repeated requests from Egyptian officials.