US envoy Greenblatt: Hamas firebomb kites ‘not metaphors for freedom’

US special envoy Jason Greenblatt decries the newest terror tactic by Hamas, saying attack kites are indiscriminate weapons.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

US President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations took to Twitter Tuesday to slam Hamas’ newest method of war against Israel – sending kites carrying Molotov cocktails over the border in order to spark devastating fires.

“Hamas attack kites are not harmless playthings or metaphors for freedom,” Jason Greenblatt tweeted. “They are deployed as propaganda & indiscriminate weapons. Since the recent outbreak of violence, Hamas attack kites have started hundreds of fires, destroyed thousands of acres & wasted millions of dollars.”

Hamas has been using this tactic for about a month, starting in the middle of its “March of Return,” launched March 30, during which tens of thousands of Gazans have been amassing at the border with Israel, attacking IDF soldiers, damaging the security fence and attempting to infiltrate the country in order to carry out mass-casualty terror attacks.

Largely unsuccessful due to IDF defensive measures, they began using kites to carry incendiary bottles over the fence, cutting them free to land and set many acres of fields ablaze.

Greenblatt also took note of Tuesday’s date, which is the 51st anniversary of the beginning of the June 1967 Six Day War in which Gaza, as well as Judea and Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, were captured by Israeli forces in a lightning victory of self-defense.

The Arab world refers to this date as “Naksa Day,” meaning “Day of the Setback,” and Hamas called several days ago for confronting Israel once again in commemoration of the defeat.

“All those plotting to provoke senseless violence and terror on June 5th will once again be focusing on destructive narratives of the past,” Trump’s envoy posted. “Real leaders will call for peace and hard work to build a better future for all people in the region.”

On Monday, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon estimated the damage caused so far by “kite terror” at NIS5 million ($1.4 million). He said that the state will compensate farmers and residents whose property was burned “until the last shekel.”