IDF fires warning shots at Gaza arson terrorists as ministers demand action

An IDF drone destroyed an empty car in Gaza as part of an ongoing attempt to deter terrorists flying kites and balloons laden with fire-bombs. Government ministers are calling for targeted killings. 

By: World Israel News Staff 

An IDF drone shot projectiles that destroyed an empty car in Gaza. The IDF said a terror cell that launches fire kites and balloons into Israel used the car.

Destruction of the car was a warning meant to deter the arson terrorists from launching additional kites and balloons into Israel that have ignited wildfires destroying thousands of acres of forest and fields.

Gaza-based media reported that a drone attacked the car in the al-Shuja’iyya neighborhood in the northern section of the Gaza Strip.

“In recent days, the IDF has warned terror cells responsible for flying the incendiary kites and balloons and has fired warning shots at them,” the IDF spokesman’s office said.

“This is terrorist activity that endangers the lives of Israeli residents of the south.”

However, several ministers have called for more aggressive methods, including the targeted killing of terror cells known to be involved in the flying of incendiary kites and balloons.

Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio Sunday that he favored targeting those responsible for flying the kites and balloons.

Interior Security Minister Gilad Erdan criticized the IDF’s policy of refraining from targeting those responsible.

The IDF is concerned that targeted killings of those flying the kites and balloons would be seen as a transgression of international law since the direct connection between the terrorist’s action and its lethal effect on Israeli civilians is not direct.

Therefore, it cannot be construed as a “ticking bomb” justifying a targeted killing.

Incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza on Saturday caused close to 20 fires at various locations in the South and resulted in the burning of dozens of square kilometers of fields.

A security coordinator on Kibbutz Karmia told Ha’aretz that arsonists infiltrated the Kibbutz and started a fire.

Finance minister backs IDF

Another politician that criticized the government policy was Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. He reportedly said that Israelis should not be asked to suffer through this reality, referring to the fire kites and balloons.

“Therefore, I am convinced the IDF will find a way of doing what is necessary,” Kahlon said in an interview with Army Radio.

The IDF, however, should not be put under pressure from the political echelon to change its policies.

In a separate incident, the  Palestinian Information Center, a pro-Hamas news site, reported that two Palestinian youths were injured on Saturday evening in an airstrike launched by an IDF drone near the border fence east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

According to data submitted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, incendiary kites and balloons have caused more than 400 fires and the cost of fighting the fires is estimated at two million shekels.

Crops that have been ruined include wheat and avocado. Agricultural equipment has also been destroyed.

Damage has been done to natural parks and forests as well.

A full assessment of damages has not yet been made.