The attorney general said no one in the government or in the IDF has asked him whether fliers of bomb-laden kites and balloons are legitimate targets.
By: World Israel News Staff
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said that fire kites and balloons launched toward Israel by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza are weapons, but he refrained from saying whether those who fly them can be shot according to the law.
“A balloon is an innocent and nice thing, but if it is used for fighting it becomes a legitimate military target,” Mandelblit said at an event in Jerusalem on Monday.
He stressed, however, that the threat posed by the incendiary objects is not comparable to rocket fire or other weapons.
The IDF has fired warning shots at the fire-kite terrorists but has yet to target them directly.
Israel is seeking to step up its actions against Gaza-based Palestinians terrorizing the south of the country with airborne arson as fires continue to ravage the countryside and agricultural fields.
On Saturday night, an IDF aircraft targeted the vehicle of one of the leaders of the squads that have been launching explosive balloons and kites from the northern Gaza Strip. The terror leader was not in the car, and this appears to have been a warning.
Israeli farmers in proximity to Gaza have been subjected to hundreds of burning kites. Dozens of blazes have destroyed several hundred acres of wood and farmland and have ruined produce worth millions of shekels.
Palestinian terrorists have launched more than 600 incendiary kites into Israel since the start of the “March of Return” some 11 weeks ago.
Despite the IDF’s best efforts to stop the kites in flight, more than 200 have managed to set fire to Israeli fields and property. More than 430 fires have erupted, and 2,000 acres of wood and farmland have been damaged by the flames.
Israel has deployed drones to cut down the kites, with limited success. Due to the lack of a comprehensive solution to this low-tech, cheap weapon, there have been increasing calls in Israel for the IDF to respond as they would to any other terrorists threatening the country and to shoot the fire-kite fliers.