IDF Answer to Gaza Kites: Amateur Drones

YERUSHALAYIM -
palestinian kite
Palestinian protesters fly a flaming kite to be thrown at the Israeli side, Friday. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israeli security forces have been stymied by how to put an end to the kite-borne arson from Gaza, but now there may be an answer, provided not by the IDF but by Israeli civilians.

Israel has begun recruiting amateur drone racers to intercept the kites and tear through them, which have caused fires and damage to farmland in southern Israel.

The hobbyist-operated drones, capable of speeds up to 110 mph, were tried for the first time on Friday. How effective they will be remains to be seen, however.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Palestinians went a step further, flying a kite with an explosive device attached rather than a Molotov cocktail, as in previous attacks.

The device did not explode when it landed on Shabbos, near kibbutz Nahal Oz, a few hundred yards from the Gaza border. However, it raised fresh concern about the kite phenomenon.

United States envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, denounced the incidents on Sunday, saying that kites with Molotov cocktails or bombs attached to them are not “quiet demonstrations” as Hamas has insisted; it’s simply terrorism.

He accused Hamas of only making the situation worse for the Palestinians in Gaza.