Over the past few weeks hundreds of burning kites have been sent into Israel over the border from Gaza, with the intention of setting homes and land ablaze. As a means of defence, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have purchased newly developed drones specifically designed to thwart such attacks.
The kites are a serious threat to farms and residents living close to the border, and have caused many fires in farms and kibbutzim over the past several weeks. While the kites were originally simply sent over burning, they are now often affixed with Molotov cocktails and incendiary balloons. Israel’s Agriculture Ministry have urged farmers in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip to harvest their wheat crops early due to fears that they will be destroyed by such fires.
On Monday, two Gaza residents were indicted on a series of terror charges for flying incendiary kites towards Israeli territory and setting fire to a field.
In a measure to counter the spike in attacks, the IDF have purchased new drones which aim to down the kites before they can cause damage in Israel. The drones, which weigh only 600g, are affixed with rotating blades which chop into the fabric of the kite, pulling them down out of the sky.
In the last week alone the drones have brought down 150 kites. They have also been adapted to be effective as a means of riot-dispersal, affixed with tear gas grenades.
To see a video of the drone in action click here.