Israel’s New Weapon Against Balloon Terror: Laser Beams

Balloons carrying an incendiary device launched by Palestinian protesters. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel has a new weapon in the fight against balloon terror – perhaps the ultimate weapon that will end the phenomenon altogether, Yisrael Hayom reported Thursday. Developed by police and security experts, the Light Blade laser system will allow security officials to target balloons as they float from Gaza into Israel, using a precision laser blast to disintegrate them, and their payload, in midair. The system can also be used against drones, the report quoted police officials as saying.

Gaza terrorists began launching incendiary balloons against Israel in March of 2018, and the tactic has caused hundreds of fires, burning thousands of dunams of forest and farmland, as Israel scrambled to find a solution. The laser-based defense system has been under development for about a year, and has been used in the field in recent weeks – with great success, the report said.

The system uses radar and other technology to identify the location of balloons or drones, and then uses GPS technology to lock in on its location. A laser beam can then be dispatched to blow up the aerial object, although officers can continue to track it if needed in order to blow it up over an area where people and property are unlikely to get damaged from falling shrapnel. The system also includes measures against damaging other aerial objects, and is very cheap and easy to build, police said.

“This system proves that we can successfully deal with the issue of balloons and drones without endangering anyone or any non-target,” the report quoted a police spokesperson as saying. “This development will enable us in the near future to effectively deal with the new threats we are facing.”