YERUSHALAYIM – Israeli officials said that as of Sunday evening there have been at least 20 brush fires in the Gaza periphery started by incendiary balloons launched across the border, The Times of Israel reported.
Two incendiary balloons carrying a suspected explosive device were spotted on the roof of a home in the Sdot Negev Regional Council area. Police sappers were dispatched to the scene.
At about 3 p.m. on Sunday, an IDF drone fired a warning shot at a group of Gazans preparing to fly incendiary balloons into Israeli territory, Palestinian media said.
The Israeli military confirmed the report.
At Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha in the Eshkol region, hundreds of turkeys died from smoke inhalation due to fires started by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza, the Times of Israel reported on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, a split emerged between the military and civilian echelons during a security cabinet meeting on Sunday.
Ministers demanded that IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot give orders to shoot to kill the terrorists who launch incendiary kites and balloons into Israeli territory, Arutz Sheva reported.
However, Eizenkot pointed out a legal impediment: that the IDF could only use live ammunition in life-threatening situations, and that it was hard to classify these launches as life-threatening.
At the same time, a senior military source told the residents of Gaza periphery that “the alternative to kite terrorism is war, and if we react too forcefully, we can be dragged into escalation.”