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Israel deploys new system to destroy flying firebombs

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Israel has deployed a new system to track balloons and kites carrying firebombs and explosives launched from Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News reported last night that the new Sky Spotter system, built by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, can track the devices and pinpoint their location. The system then monitors their flight pattern and where they are likely to land. The system can also be used to direct drones to intercept the flying firebombs and destroy them.

In addition, the system can send real time information to firefighters about where the devices are going to land, allowing them to reach the scene and quickly extinguish fires. Until now, drones have been controlled manually by drone operators, but the system will soon be able to control the drones automatically, directing them to the firebombs as they are launched. The Sky Spotter system was originally developed to combat drones armed with explosives.

Fifteen fires broke out in southern Israel yesterday as a result of the flying firebombs. In response Israeli Air Force jets targeted the “infrastructure” of a group of Palestinians attempting to launch them. No one was injured in attack.

4,300 acres, more than half of the nature reserves in the region, have been severely damaged by 250 fires in the past two months. Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan told Army Radio yesterday: “We’re very troubled and don’t stop thinking about how to improve the security situation in the Gaza vicinity.”

US peace envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday. The Egyptian leader called for a “just and comprehensive settlement” to the conflict, which he said would mean a “two-state solution on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine”.

Kushner and Greenblatt arrive in Israel today to discuss their plan for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with Israeli leaders and potential projects to improve the situation in Gaza.