עופר ליברמן
Ofer Liberman, a farmer from Kibbutz Nir Am
Photo: Roee Idan
Firefighters battling flames caused by incendiary balloons

On Gaza border, Israelis live in fear as balloon bombs return

Farmer from kibbutz located near the Gaza border tells Ynet that 26 fires caused by fire balloons on Tuesday burnt acres of lemon, tangerine orchards and wheat fields; says response to balloons must be as fierce as response to rockets

Ynet reporters |
Published: 06.16.21, 14:10
Israelis living in communities bordering the Gaza Strip say they are living with constant tensions and fear even after the recent war due to the return of incendiary balloon attacks by Palestinian terrorists.
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  • Israeli aircraft struck Hamas sites in Gaza early Wednesday after dozens of incendiary balloons were launched from the Palestinian enclave in response to controversial flag parade in Jerusalem.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מכבים את האש שנגרמה מבלוני התבערה בעוטף עזה
    מכבים את האש שנגרמה מבלוני התבערה בעוטף עזה
    Firefighters battling flames caused by incendiary balloons
    (Photo: Haim Horenshtein )
    According to the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, no less than 26 fires broke out in the western Negev on Tuesday as a result of the incendiary balloon attacks. In addition, an explosive device attached to a balloon exploded mid-air above a kindergarten in Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council.
    Ofer Liberman, a farmer from Kibbutz Nir Am located near the Gaza border, told Ynet on Wednesday that local residents "unfortunately" have gotten used to the security situation in the area.
    "Our area remains tense after Operation Guardians of the Walls. We are the first to absorb the Hamas' response as soon as something happens elsewhere, like the flag parade in Jerusalem," Liberman said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    עופר ליברמן
    עופר ליברמן
    Ofer Liberman, a farmer from Kibbutz Nir Am
    (Photo: Roee Idan)
    Oferman gave the interview in the kibbutz as the ashes were still smoldering in the vegetation behind him.
    "Part of the area is still burning. Let's say it's ashes, not actual fire. The damage that was done to us yesterday is acres of burned lemon and tangerine orchards and wheat fields."
    He also appealed to the new government, asking them to respond to incendiary balloon attacks with the same severity as when rockets are being fired at Israeli cities.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    הכנות להפרחת בלונים ברצועת עזה
    הכנות להפרחת בלונים ברצועת עזה
    Palestinian terrorists prepare to launch balloons into Israel
    (Photo: AFP)
    "I think the current equation needs to be changed. It should be explained to Hamas that it cannot launch either balloons or Qassam rockets. We need to make them think 110,000 times whether to launch another balloon," he said.
    "My message to the new prime minister is that we want to live here quietly. "We want to raise our children and work in agriculture. I think that at least in the beginning [of this government], if Hamas decides to violate Israeli sovereignty, the state should respond in such a way that would make them afraid to do it again."
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