IDF soldiers battle a blaze in southern Israel. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov) (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)
Fire Gaza border

Israel is making the Palestinians pay for damage caused by fire kite terrorism with deductions from tax funds.

By: United with Israel Staff

Israel plans to deduct from tax funds it collects for the Palestinians the amount needed to compensate Israelis living near the Gaza Strip who have come under a wave of terror-motivated arson attacks from Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists.

Israeli farmers from the area surrounding the Gaza Strip have been subjected to a barrage of hundreds of burning kites sent from Gaza with the aim of setting fire to their fields. Dozens of blazes have destroyed several hundred acres of wood and farmland and have ruined produce worth millions of shekels.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s on Sunday instructed the head of the National Security Council Meir Ben Shabbat to prepare to dock the PA for the cost of damages caused by the blazes.

On Monday, President Reuven Rivlin called Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas to demand that he condemn the arson attacks on the border and attempts to infiltrate Israei territory.

“The terror from Gaza is a problem for both sides and your voice should be heard on this matter,” Rivlin was reported as saying in Hebrew media reports. “We have to see a means to stop the arson and infiltration of the border.”

IDF Radio put the cost of damage at 5 million shekels ($1.4 million).

Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in tax revenues for the PA, in accordance with the 1994 Paris Protocol, which governs economic relations with the PA, including import taxes on goods passing through Israel and destined for the PA.

Palestinians Turn Israel’s South Black

Severe damage to an Israeli nature reserve on over the weekend is being blamed on the terror kites.
Israeli firefighters and aircraft battled three large fires and several smaller ones on Saturday. In some cases, residents teamed up with firefighters to help contain the blazes.

By the time the blazes were brought under control, some 500 to 740 acres of fields and nature reserve had been burned.

Kibbutz Be’eri, Kibbutz Nir Am, Kissiufim and Ein Hashlosha were some of the recent targets.

Officials at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority estimated that at least one-third of the Carmia nature reserve has been destroyed with significant harm to local plants and wildlife.

Arson attacks have been a nearly daily occurrence since the beginning of Hamas’s “March of Return” campaign, in which terrorists have attempted to attack and breach the Gaza-Israel border fence, harm Israeli soldiers and set fires inside Israel under the pretense of marching en masse to take Jerusalem.

Hundreds of arson kites outfitted with Molotov cocktails and fuel have been flown into Israel since the Hamas-led strategy was initiated, setting more than 270 fires and burning 6,200 acres of land.

In an interview on Hadashot news, one Israeli military official said an IDF strategy involving drones has brought down over 500 kites before they could cause damage.

The Israeli farmers are appealing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to indict Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh for damages caused by their promotion of “fire kite” terror.

The farmers, with the help of Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center, are suing Hamas for a series of offenses, including the burning of agricultural fields with burning kites, attacking Israel’s borders, recruiting children for combat purposes and using the civilian population as human shields.

JNS contributed to this report.

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