It’s a simple equation: Kites equal retaliatory strikes. And it’s bringing Israel and Hamas toward yet another round of deadly conflict.Like almost every day over the past three months, southern Israel was burning on Tuesday. Firefighters and reservists from the IDF Home Front Command battled blazes sparked by incendiary aerial devices which continued to fly in and ravage the South.Israel has threatened the ruling Hamas terrorist group in various ways in order to pressure it to rein in those who launch the kites, including firing warning shots and, more recently, carrying out air strikes on Hamas military targets.“The IDF views the use of incendiary kites and balloons with great severity and will operate to prevent their use,” the military said in a statement, adding that these simple children’s toys cause “acts of terrorism that endanger the lives of Israeli residents living in the South.”But the incendiary kites and explosive balloons keep flying into Israeli skies. They are simple devices, but they keep burning Israel.Late Tuesday night, in response to the close to 20 fires that burned throughout the day, Israel Air Force jets struck three targets in a Hamas military compound near Rafah in the southern Strip.In the hours that followed, terrorist groups in the coastal enclave launched some 45 mortars and rockets toward southern Israeli communities in a series of barrages.It was the largest salvo of projectiles from the Strip since a de facto cease-fire was put in place in late May, following the launching of close to 150 mortars and rockets toward Israeli communities.“Another sleepless nights for the residents of Eshkol,” said Gadi Yarkoni, the head of the Eshkol Regional Council, following the latest bombardment, which saw some 200,000 Israelis spend the night in bomb shelters. “We try to maintain a regular routine within the situation, because that is the best way for us.”Hamas has set its own equation, and it won’t let Israel set a new status quo without having a say.For Israel it’s strikes for kites.But for Hamas, its rockets for strikes.“All hail to the valiant resistance that responded to the occupation’s shelling of Gaza’s positions, and this is a legitimate right,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on his Twitter account following the night’s events. “The message of the bombardment confirmed that the resistance is the one that determines the rules of engagement and its way, and will not allow the occupation to isolate our people or impose any new equations.If he tries, he will bear the consequences.”While there were no casualties on either side, and while neither Hamas nor Israel want another round of conflict, the bad movie that we are left to watch seems never-ending.