Top Israeli Author: Terror Kites ‘Understandable’ and ‘Justified’

YERUSHALAYIM -
kite fire
A firefighting aircraft flies over fields near the Israeli side of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, near kibbutz Or HaNer, Sunday. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israeli firefighters were on alert Tuesday to fight another round of fires caused by “terror kites” at the Gaza border. At least one fire was set by a kite that was flown into Israel with flammable material attached. The fire, in the town of Netiv Ha’asarah, broke out near the homes of some residents. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control. No injuries or damage were reported. On Monday night, firefighters fought at least two blazes that broke out in Kibbutz Be’eri caused by terror kites. The kibbutz has been especially hard hit by the fires, losing hundreds of dunams of crops in recent weeks.

While firefighters were battling those blazes Monday night, prominent Israeli author and playwright Yehoshua Sobol was justifying the fires. Sobol participated Monday night in a forum of Israeli and Arab authors, artists and cultural figures, discussing ways to “build bridges” between Jews and Arabs. Sobol, one of the most influential members of Israel’s writers’ community, is the author of dozens of plays, film screenplays and books, and has won more than a dozen awards.

A report in Yisrael Hayom quoted Sobol as expressing sympathy for those who launch the terror kites at Israel. “I tried to imagine myself as a child in Gaza whose neighbors come home either dead or injured, or whose family members come home as disabled or with their bodies shot up. What would I do as a child? I would fly a terror kite,” he said.

“As a child in the Sharon in the 1940s, I remember flying kites, but they were not kites equipped with flammable material,” he said. “We were not hopeless. But when someone is hopeless, when a teenager is hopeless, he is not interested in anything, he will leave the ground behind him burned.”