Agriculture terror in the Gaza envelope leaves farmers 'helpless'

"I don't even want to imagine what would happen if a combine harvester operator is trapped there during a fire," said Ofer Liberman from Kibbutz Nir Am.

By YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
May 7, 2018 20:27
1 minute read.
Agriculture terror in the Gaza envelope leaves farmers 'helpless'

A field set on fire by Palestinian terrorists using balloons with burning materials attached to them . (photo credit: SHAAR HANEGEV SPOKESPERSON)

 
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Helium balloons outfitted with flammable materials were sent by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, igniting seven separate fires in in Isreal.

Firefighters were able to put the fires out, but a wheat field situated between Kfar Aza and Kibbutz Mefalsim caught fire, suffering tens of thousands of shekels in damages.

A fire was also lit in the Be'eri forest. No injuries were reported from either fire.

The fires were put out by the firefighters and local residents were able to return to their daily routines.

Farmers complained that this loss of wheat, mere days before the harvest, will cost them tens of thousands of shekels in damages.

Ofer Liberman from Kibbutz Nir Am explained to Maariv that he feels "helpless when tackling the terror kites" because there are thousands of acres that are potentially vulnerable.

"I can't keep a tractor in all that space just to put fires out," said Liberman. "I don't want to imagine what might happen if a combine harvester operator is trapped there during a fire," he said.


"This is not agriculture terrorism but actual terrorism," he said.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon visited the Gaza envelope on Sunday and said that "those who operate terror kites are to be dealt with as if they were launching rockets."

Head of the Eshkol Regional Council Gadi Yarkoni lauded the minister for the visit and standing on the side of farmers with the rest of the Israeli government.

"We want the threat to end, that is the first thing," he said, "but it warms our hearts to know that when we face such a new threat the Ministry of Finance is on our side."

IDF officers promised to end the terrorism from kites and balloons by using drones, yet on May 4, two IDF drones were disabled during the Friday Palestinian protests and were forced to land in the Gaza strip.

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