Massive waves of balloon-borne incendiary devices were launched from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel throughout Thursday, sparking over two dozen fires throughout the area, according to estimates by Israeli authorities.
Can you imagine for a moment what the reaction from the United Nations might be if Israel launched 49 incendiary balloon attacks on the Gaza Strip in a 24-hour period? Why they would call an immediate emergency session, condemn the attacks, and send in UN Peacekeeping Forces to restore order. But Israel did not do that, the Palestinians did, and the silence coming out of the United Nations is absolutely deafening.
There are two standards of justice in the Middle East that contains one set of rules of conduct for Israel and another set for everyone else. This is why Israel does not consult with other nations when they have trouble, and when attacked, they strike back without ever once seeking anyone’s permission or approval. They know they wouldn’t get it anyway.
Gaza incendiary balloons spark dozens of fires in southern Israel
FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: The rash of arson attacks put Thursday on pace to see the largest number of fires started by Gazan balloons in a single day since Palestinians began launching airborne incendiary devices over a year ago.
According to the Fire and Rescue Services and local governments, at least 30 fires of varying sizes had been started in southern Israel throughout Thursday, including 17 large ones that were confirmed by investigators to have been started by arson balloons. Firefighters from Fire and Rescue Services, the military, Jewish National Fund, the Parks Authority and local volunteers were all called in to assist in the effort to extinguish the blazes.
Since Sunday, there have been approximately 100 fires started by balloon-borne arson devices, according to figures from the local fire department.
There have been no injuries reported in these blazes, most of which have occurred in agricultural fields and grasslands, but they have caused significant damage to crops and wildlife. Several fires were also reported inside Israeli communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol regions.
A balloon-borne incendiary device also landed just outside a home in the Eshkol region, where it was quickly extinguished before the fire could spread, an Eshkol spokesperson said.
As of Thursday evening, there was no response by the military or government to the day’s fires. On Tuesday, Israel cut fuel supplies to Gaza’s power plant in a punitive measure against the uptick in fire balloons.
MK Alon Shuster, a Blue and White lawmaker from Kibbutz Mefalsim, where a balloon from Gaza sparked a fire on Thursday, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of ignoring the incendiary attacks.
“The fire has reached inside Kibbutz Mefalsim,” he said in a statement. “Soldiers, security officials, firefighters and kibbutz members are working to put it out. But we get the impression that Netanyahu doesn’t care at all.”
He added: “The resilience of the residents of the south will weather any challenge, but the neglect by the Israeli government has reached the point of criminal negligence, and it’s time that someone said so.”
Arson attacks have picked up considerably in the past week, with teams affiliated with the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group launching hundreds of helium-inflated balloons and condoms carrying incendiary devices and, in some cases, explosives across the border into Israel.
In general, the incendiary devices consist of a burning piece of burlap or other fabric soaked in fuel, which is connected to one or several balloons. There have also been cases of larger clusters of balloons carrying model drones and small bombs being launched toward Israel. The easterly winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea push the balloons into Israeli territory.
In response to the ongoing attacks, which represent a breach of an unofficial ceasefire agreement between Israel and terror groups in the Strip, Israel halted the flow of gasoline and diesel fuel into the Gaza Strip Tuesday, a move which drew criticism from human rights advocates, who condemned it as collective punishment.
On Wednesday, incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip started 19 fires in southern Israel, according to the local fire department. READ MORE
Southern Israel on fire, amid barrage of incendiary balloons
The incendiary balloons have been coming across the Gaza Strip border for over a year now, and have done millions of dollars in damage to farmers fields in southern Israel.
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