Hamas uses medical helium for terror balloons, IDF restricts supply

After weeks of arson attacks using helium balloons, Israel announced Tuesday it would reduce supplies of the gas to the Gaza Strip.

By: TPS and World Israel News Staff

“Hamas is abusing Gaza’s medical system in the most contemptible and cynical fashion,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday morning during a visit to Gaza Division headquarters.

“The helium that we supply to hospitals for medical equipment, primarily for use in MRI scanners, is used by Hamas to send drones to ignite fields here in the south,” Liberman said.

In line with Liberman’s comments, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Kamil Abu Rokon, ordered restrictions on helium gas imports into the Gaza Strip.

As part of the Hamas-led violent riots that began at the end of March, Palestinians attach incendiary devices to balloons, which float into Israeli territory. Terrorists have caused hundreds of fires with this method, destroying Israeli farmland and nature reserves and causing damage in excess of NIS 5 million.

Maj. Gen. Rokon warned that if Gazan terrorist groups continue to use helium gas for attacks on Israel, the IDF will ban all helium supplies from entering the coastal enclave.

‘Hamas’ overthrow would improve Gaza’s plight’

The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip could improve if its citizens were to overthrow the Hamas government, Liberman declared.

“I would like to send a message to the people of Gaza,” Liberman said. “You have become hostages of the Hamas regime. “You can build a much better future for your children. You can get all the humanitarian, economic, and civilian aid, but first you have to kick out Hamas.”

Liberman, who came to congratulate OC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, who took up the post earlier this week, added that as long as Hamas is governing the Strip, “the chance for coexistence, cooperation and a better future for the people of Gaza simply does not exist.”

The defense minister said however that if Gazans were to pressure their government to return the bodies of two Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians who inadvertently entered Gaza and are believed to be alive and held by the organization, that would “open a window and ensure humanitarian and economic assistance for all residents of Gaza.”