July 10, 2018
Israel Closes Gaza Commercial Border Crossing in Response to Hamas Arson Campaign – Anna Ahronheim
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that Israel would close the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza in response to the continued launching of incendiary devices which have burned 8,000 acres in Israel. Only food and medicine will be allowed to cross. The IDF said the step was taken “in light of the situation in which the Hamas terrorist organization exploits the residents of the Gaza Strip – and launches kites and explosive firebombs towards the communities surrounding Gaza.” (Jerusalem Post)
See also Firefighters Put Out 33 Fires near Gaza Border Communities on Monday – Matan Tzuri (Ynet News)
- Israel Expands the Fight Against Palestinian Arson – Itsik Saban
Israel’s Fire and Rescue Commissioner David Simchi announced Sunday the formation of a special task force to combat Palestinian arson terrorism against Israeli communities adjacent to Gaza. The task force will include firefighters from the IDF Homefront Command.
Palestinian kite terrorism has so far sparked 860 fires since April, decimating over 8,000 acres of forest and agricultural land in Israel. Hamas operatives have been trying to upgrade the kites to fly deeper into Israeli territory.
There has been a decrease in the overall number of major blazes, due to the firefighters’ improved readiness, as well as the fact that, given the devastation, new fires have fewer areas into which they can spread. Firefighting teams will have all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles at their disposal equipped with special gear to carry water and flame retarding agents. They are meant to be used as a first response ahead of the fire trucks’ arrival at the scene. (Israel Hayom)