Report: Gaza Terrorists Have Burned Over 60,000 Acres in Southern Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Smoke rises from Israeli agricultural fields near the Gaza Strip border, after being set on fire by a Molotov cocktail kite flown over by Palestinians as they protest at the border fence on May 14. (Flash90)

The IDF detected and captured a drone containing explosives that was sent into Israel by Gaza terrorists, the army said Monday. Security forces captured the drone when it landed. It did not explode. In a statement, the IDF said that the incident occurred “several days ago, when in our estimation the drone entered Israel from the northern Gaza strip. It fell in an open area of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. An examination of the drone indicated that it was carrying explosives.”

Sources told Channel 20 that the drone had been dispatched by Islamic Jihad terrorists. On Sunday, IDF forces targeted Islamic Jihad terrorists, killing three. The terror group swore revenge against Israel for the attack. A spokesperson for the army, commenting on the threat, said that “those who play with fire are putting themselves in danger. We are aware of the threats issued by Islamic Jihad, which is supported by Iran.”

Meanwhile, Channel 20 reported, the “low key” efforts by Gaza terrorists to start fires in Israeli forests and on farms has done far more damage than authorities have acknowledged. Since March 30th, when the first fires were set via balloons and kites containing flammable material directed at Israeli forests and farms, some 250,000 dunams (over 60,000 acres) of trees, crops and open fields have been destroyed. On Sunday alone, there were three fires.

Firefighters have had to deal with over 250 fires, some of them major, and with the assistance of dozens of fire companies from the entire Negev, have halted fires that had the potential to burn out of control. Firefighters are patrolling the roads near the Gaza border constantly, keeping an eye out for small fires and putting them out before they spread. Security officials expressed worry that the problem would only get worse, with summer and its accompanying high temperatures on the way.