•Tel Aviv threatens lethal response
Palestinians are sending kites dangling coal embers or burning rags across the Gaza border to set fire to farmland and forests, in a new tactic that an Israeli minister said should be countered with “targeted assassinations”.
At least 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the men sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon, AFP said.
“It began spontaneously. We never thought we would achieve such good results,” said Shadi, one of five Palestinian teenagers preparing kites with fabric dipped in diesel and lubricant oil in a Gaza field.
“The idea is simple: use the simplest tools to cause damage and losses on the Occupation (Israel),” said Shadi, 19, wearing a “V for Vendetta” mask favored by protesters in many parts of the world and who, like the others, declined to give his last name.
No one has been hurt by the fires, but some 2,250 acres (910 hectares) of fields and nature reserves, already parched after a dry winter, have been burned by flames stoked by Mediterranean winds, causing $2.5 million in damage, Israel’s government said.
Israel Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said snipers should shoot the kite flyers. “I expect the IDF (Israeli army) to handle these kite-flyers exactly as they would any terrorist, and the IDF’s targeted assassinations must also apply to these kite-flyers.”