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‘Kite terrorism’ — Israeli government takes on ‘sarcastic’ global press


The Israeli Government Press Office released the statement below yesterday, with the photos attached, and the headline: “Kite Terrorism: GPO Foreign Press Tour of the Area Adjacent to the Gaza Strip Raises Global Awareness of New Threat.” We promise, this isn’t the Onion. 

Israeli officials demonstrate “kite terrorism” during tour of Israeli areas bordering Gaza, photo by Maria Elkin, Israeli Government Press Office.

Very little has been written in the foreign press about the kite terrorism from Gaza which began two months ago and has burned almost 2,500 acres of agricultural lands and caused tens of millions of shekels in damage. When it has been written about, there have been sarcastic comparisons between “Palestinian kites” and “Israeli F-35s” in order to underscore the seeming lack of symmetry between the two sides and lessen the importance of the new wave of terrorism affecting the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip – that of kite-borne firebombs.

The Government Press Office, today (Thursday, 7 June 2018), held a tour that sought to balance the picture and increase global awareness of the phenomenon, which is aimed entirely at civilians. Over 30 foreign journalists participated in the tour including from German, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese press agencies as well as Bloomberg and AP. Radio stations and journalists from – inter alia – Switzerland, Bulgaria, Brazil, Russia and South Korea also participated.

The tour began in the burnt, still-smoking fields several hundred meters from Kibbutz Or Haner where Fire and Rescue Service Spokesperson Yoram Levy briefed the journalists on the Fire and Rescue Service’s deployment to meet the threat posed by the new reality. At the service’s regional command center in Sderot, tour participants were briefed on the scope of the challenge in real time.

Reporters taking pictures of “kite terrorism” during tour of Israeli areas bordering Gaza, phot by Maria Elkin, Israeli Government Press Office.

The tour continued to Kibbutz Nahal Oz, to a blackened, ash-covered hill overlooking the Shuja’iyya neighborhood a scant two kilometers away. Kibbutz spokesperson and veteran farmer, of over 40 years, Danny Rahamim (64), briefed the journalists on how farmers and residents are dealing with the phenomenon which threatens their livelihoods. “We will not budge from here. We will continue to work the land down to the last meter and we are also optimistic that it will be possible to achieve peace and stability,” he said. As he finished his remarks, two firefighters brought a Palestinian kite that had been captured nearby and showed how such a primitive, simple and inexpensive device could cause so much damage.

The commander of the IDF kite unit, Col. Nadav Livne discussed the IDF’s perspective and said that UAVs were quickly adapted to enable them to hunt kites. Between 450-500 kites have already been intercepted by the high-durability UAVs, which can attain speeds of over 150 kilometers per hour. A demonstration was held in which a UAV took off, accelerated and maneuvered. According to Col. Livne, reservists who specialize in flying UAVs have been mobilized and have succeeded in reducing the number of fires over the past week.

GPO Director Nitzan Chen said that in the framework of the struggle over content and headlines, the GPO would expand its public diplomacy efforts vis-à-vis the foreign press in Israel, part of which is trying to downplay the significance of the firing and the attacks on communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, and portray the struggle as being between David and Goliath.

Reporters taking pictures of “kite terrorism” during tour of Israeli areas bordering Gaza, phot by Maria Elkin, Israeli Government Press Office.


Mondoweiss Editors

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12 Responses

  1. Kay24 on June 8, 2018, 2:00 pm

    Typical zionist tactic. They desperately try to justify their latest massacre, by blaming the Palestinians. Once again Israel has been condemned by the world (except the US and Micronesia), for it’s latest slaughter of unarmed civilians, and once again, they try to blame the victims, for it. This is getting old and ugly, and how much will the apologists for this brutal nation, keep believing the garbage Israel throws out to justify the massacres?

    How many Israelis killed by kites? None

    How many Palestinians killed by snipers? Dozens (and thousands injured).

    That cartoon is very descriptive, and self explanatory.

  2. Marnie on June 9, 2018, 2:45 am

    “kite terrorism”.

    How can these idiots live with themselves. They claim they have balls of steel and at the very same time are meek little lambs being led to slaughter by kite terrorists and medic-terrorists. They have no shame, no shame at all. Agree Kay24, this cartoon should be seen everywhere, on billboards all over the world.

  3. echinococcus on June 9, 2018, 8:30 am

    There’s this old French proverb that says le ridicule ne tue pas, ie being ridiculous won’t kill you. Unfortunately true, especially if you can hire shameless sycophants in the newspaper business.
    With apologies to RoHa.

  4. Jackdaw on June 9, 2018, 10:41 am

    What random attacks on Israel’s ecology?

    Where? Where?

    • Kate on June 9, 2018, 2:39 pm

      There is this. Innocent animals as collateral damage from human activity:

      [from 29 May Today in Palestine list]
      [with photos] Times of Israel 28 May — Drone footage released Monday showed how hundreds of acres of one of the most scenic areas of southern Israel have been reduced to burned, blackened wasteland by firebomb-laden kites flown across the border by Palestinians. By the end of winter, the Be’eri Crater Nature Reserve is normally blanketed with green grass interspersed with red anemones. The park’s trees, grass and ground are home to many species of wildlife. However, hundreds of kites carrying flaming material have been flown across the border by Gazan Palestinians in the past few weeks, and photos show the entire area has been reduced to blackened stubble. On Sunday alone a further 50 acres of the nature reserve were consumed by fire started by the kites. Rafi Bavian, security officer of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, said that the plants would eventually grow back, but he mourned the destruction of wildlife. “We are sure that time will do its part, the rain will return and the flowering will begin again,” he told Ynet news site. “But to see the crater area burned like this, and to think of all the animals burned to death is heartbreaking.”….

      • Marnie on June 9, 2018, 11:44 pm

        What babies. They cheer and clap at every bomb dropped on Gaza, every palestinian labeled as a terrorist, or lovely brave medic, is summarily executed. Did their hearts break over the burning of mosques, churches and family homes of palestinians? When thousands of olive trees were burned? When palestinian families were burned?

        “heartbreaking” my ass.

  5. genesto on June 9, 2018, 1:23 pm

    Talk about kite terrorism! Just wait until the Palestinians unleash their poop-infused, exploding balloons!!

    • annie on June 10, 2018, 12:07 am

      i read a tweet about those balloons.

      “Every IDF tweet: “Moments ago the Golani Brigade intercepted a hot air balloon from Gaza filled with spoiled shellfish. None of the soldiers were harmed and the balloon pirates have been disintegrated.”

      Top reply below: “May Jesus PROTECT the Army of the Circumcised ✝️🇮🇱”

      • Marnie on June 10, 2018, 7:28 am

        The ‘army of the circumcised’? Circumcision is practiced in Islam.

        This Jesus? “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
        Romans 2:28-29, KJV

  6. Ossinev on June 10, 2018, 9:57 am

    Mark Regurgitev on the ” KiteTerrorism “?

    G`d day Cobber. Let`s be clear Jeremy (or whoever) what we are talking about is a major Kiteastrophy and these are war crimes being perpetrated against innocent insects and a variety of defenceless newts by Hggggggamas who are using one year old infants and 8.5 months pregnant women as human shields.

  7. Elizabeth Block on June 10, 2018, 8:11 pm

    Golly gee. I’m sure the Palestinians would much rather have weaponized drones than kites. Let alone war planes.

    And I should like to know how the extent of the damage caused by kites compares with the amount of farmland in Gaza that the Israelis destroyed (by dumping the rubble of the housing they had built for settlers, and then blew up) or which they prevent Gazan farmers from using (by shooting at them when they try to cultivate their land).

  8. Ossinev on June 11, 2018, 6:58 am

    Something seriously missing in the Zionarrative about these horrific existentially threatening kites. Shouldn`t they be describing them as “Iranian supplied kites” ?

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