Middle East

Israeli drone targets ‘fire kite’ sites in eastern Gaza

Palestinian activists have responded to Israeli violence in Gaza by flying flaming kites into Israeli territory

Israeli drone targets ‘fire kite’ sites in eastern Gaza

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine

An Israeli drone on Friday fired two missiles near the Gaza-Israel fence in ostensible retaliation for the use of “fire kites” -- flaming kites flown into Israeli territory -- by Palestinian demonstrators and activists.

“The drone fired two missiles at the contraptions used to launch the burning kites near the security fence,” Mohamed, a fire-kite flyer, told Anadolu Agency.

“We will not stop flying our fire kites until the [Israeli] siege of Gaza is lifted,” Mohamed, who did not reveal his last name for security reasons, said.

Mohamed is a member of Gaza’s “Al-Zawari Brigade”, a group of young fire-kite flyers named after Mohamed al-Zawari, a Tunisian aviation engineer who was assassinated in 2016 in the Tunisian city of Sfax.

It is widely believed that Al-Zawari, who had reportedly helped Hamas develop its drone program, was killed by Israeli agents. 

Speaking on behalf of the Al-Zawari Brigade, Mohamed gave Israel 10 days to lift its decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip. 

“Otherwise, we will escalate our attacks from flaming kites to flaming hot-air balloons,” he warned. 

He went on to assert that his group had already successfully tested flaming hot-air balloons, which, he said, were inexpensive to make and which have a much longer range than kites. 

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, no one was hurt in Friday’s drone attack. 

Since Palestinians began demonstrating near the Israel-Gaza fence on Mar. 30, 128 protesters have been killed -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli army gunfire. 

Protesters demand the “right of return” to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

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