Explosive devices set off multiple fires, sparking another day of unrest in Israel

Minister Erden on his Twitter page: The phenomenon will only grow bigger if we do not thwart it.
Palestinians with kites in Gaza Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Saturday proved to be yet another day of clashes across the border with Gaza when explosive kites and incendiary balloons set off more than ten fires across the region near the Gaza border fence. Israeli fire squads were called to put out a fire that broke near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, Kibbutz Nir Am and near the town of Sderot.

More than ten wildfires have been reported since Saturday morning and most of them were put out by the late afternoon hours. According to reports from Gaza, Israeli air forces targeted a storage of explosive kites that was being prepared for launch.

Israeli forces confirmed that they fired warning shots from the air towards a group of people who were spotted preparing incendiary balloons. The IDF said in a statement that it takes the use of these explosive devices “very seriously” and will do everything it can to combat them.

Israel’s Minister of Public Security Gilad Erden wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday: “The phenomenon [of attacks from Gaza] will only grow bigger if the firing squads are not thwarted.”

Roads were closed in the vicinity of Sderot to overcome the spread of wildfires and were only opened around 6:00 PM (local time).

During the day on Saturday, an explosive kite landed in the regional council of Lachish, close to the security fence, and was said to have been equipped with an operating system. Police forces who came to neutralize the device said it was probably meant to harm Israeli civilians.

Israeli police forces are urging the public to act responsibly and alert the authorities immediately if they are aware of any danger in their area and make sure they do not put their own lives at risk “unnecessarily.”

Police have also published a set of rules informing the public of how to deal with suspicious objects, such as explosive kites, urging them to “stay away and make sure others stay away from the scene, call the 100 police line immediately and leave the job to the trained bomb squads.”

Approximately 15,000 rioters arrived at the Gaza border on Friday and held protests in five different areas along the fence. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 4 Palestinians were killed by the IDF and more than 600 injured.



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