Ar­son­ists at­tack Is­rael from the air

The Signal - - OPINION - Gary CUR­TIS Gary Cur­tis is a Santa Clarita res­i­dent.

When the nat­u­ral­ist John Muir walked from Cal­i­for­nia’s coast to the Sierra Ne­vada, he crossed vast fields of wild­flow­ers not­ing that his feet “would press a hun­dred flow­ers at ev­ery step.”

Is­rael has been un­der unique as­sault from the ter­ror­ist group Ha­mas, the demo­crat­i­cally elected au­thor­ity in the Gaza Strip, for more than two months. The cur­rent tur­moil is part of the pre-planned and care­fully or­ches­trated “Great Re­turn March” protests at the Gaza-Is­raeli bor­der.

In ad­di­tion to the mass protests by men, women, and chil­dren, bussed to over a dozen Pales­tinian protest points along the bor­der, many set tires on fire and rolled them to­ward the se­cu­rity fenc­ing at the phys­i­cal bor­der. Ha­mas re­port­edly would pay if a pro­tester was in­jured and would pay the fam­ily even more if that mem­ber was killed, for the sake of Is­lamic ji­had.

Un­der the cover of the thick, black smoke gen­er­ated from the burn­ing tires, there have been re­peated ef­forts to cut the wire of the se­cu­rity fenc­ing and broach the bor­der into Is­rael. Once there, the ter­ror­ists would hope to kill or kid­nap as many Is­raelis as pos­si­ble.

In ad­di­tion to the rocks and bot­tles thrown or shot by large sling­shots or crude cat­a­pult-like con­struc­tions, many of the pro­tes­tors learned to fly large kites, with in­cen­di­ary de­vices at­tached, over the bor­der into Is­rael, hop­ing to burn crops or dam­age the homes and schools of the peace­ful res­i­dents of the nearby Is­raeli com­mu­ni­ties.

Some “killer-kites” car­ried slow burn­ing in­cen­di­aries, like burn­ing char­coal. Sim­i­larly, He­lium-filled bal­loons are be­lieved to be used to drip fire ac­cel­er­a­tor in the flammable ar­eas.

Drones, op­er­ated by the Is­raeli De­fense Force (IDF), have man­aged to bring down more than 400 flam­ing kites launched from Gaza, while fire­fight­ers are work­ing to gain con­trol of nearly 200 blazes burn­ing some 2,500 acres near var­i­ous kib­butzim (col­lec­tive farms) and towns, which bor­der along the cen­tral and north­ern sec­tors of the Gaza Strip.

Th­ese ar­son­ist tac­tics by Ha­mas ter­ror­ists have started dev­as­tat­ing fires in south­ern Is­rael’s wheat fields, towns, and now in the Carmina na­ture pre­serve. Au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mate the wild­fires have de­stroyed some 2,000 to 3,000 dunams (500 to 740 acres) of fields and forested ar­eas, or about onethird of the Carmina re­serve.

Some of the trees were “planted as long as 50 years ago as part of mak­ing the desert bloom have been wiped out by th­ese fires.” This has caused mas­sive dam­age to both the flora and the fauna in the pop­u­lar park.

Th­ese ar­son­ist tac­tics frighten vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies and the dec­i­mat­ing fires have caused tens of mil­lions of shekels of dam­age. Af­fected Is­raeli farm­ers are be­ing told they will im­me­di­ately be com­pen­sated for only half of this ter­ror­ist-caused dev­as­ta­tion.

Mean­while, Is­lamic imams in mosques through­out the Gaza Strip and The Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran con­tinue each week to in­still ha­tred and in­cite vi­o­lence. There­fore, it is not sur­pris­ing when their fol­low­ers start trans­form­ing weekly chants of “Death to Amer­ica” and “Death to Is­rael” into hideous ac­tions of ha­tred.

Ad­di­tion­ally, pre­planned protests and riots were ex­pected last Fri­day, the fourth Fri­day of Ra­madan, through­out Gaza, Jerusalem, and Judea and Sa­maria, in the ar­eas con­trolled by the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity. It seems they want vi­o­lence for vi­o­lence sake, with as many ca­su­al­ties as pos­si­ble for the West­ern me­dia to ob­sess over.

This, is the “Re­li­gion of Peace”?

Is­lamic imams in mosques through­out the Gaza Strip and The Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran con­tinue each week to in­still ha­tred and in­cite vi­o­lence.

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