Netanyahu told the head of the Israeli National Security Council to promote a move whereby money paid by the state to victims of Palestinian arson be deducted from the tax revenue Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Photo credit: JNF/Amos Ben Gershom, GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered on Sunday that money used to compensate southern Israeli farmers for damages caused by arson attacks be deducted from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenue.

Several large fires broke out on Sunday in Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip as a result of flaming kites flown from Gaza. The largest, near Kibbutz Or HaNer, remains uncontained. Fire-fighting teams are currently working to prevent the blaze from spreading to residential areas.

Last Thursday, just hours after a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect, flaming kites caused fires in three locations in southern Israel – Be’eri Forest, Kissufim Forest and Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha. In Be’eri, dozens of acres of crops went up in flames. In Ein HaShlosha, electricity infrastructure was damaged.

The flying of kites loaded with flammable material has become a popular cheap form of terrorism over the past months. Its main victims are farmers living in southern Israel, whose crops are often severely damaged by the fires.