Negev Communities on Fire

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Negev Communities on Fire

Western Negev communities along the Gaza border are facing a type of attack that is unlike anywhere else in the world.  For the past 4 months, flaming kites, incendiary balloons, and explosive condoms have been scorching huge areas of farmland and wildlife. The communities in the area are dealing with the daily threat of their homes under siege. The animals in the area, unfortunately, have no place to run and can't escape fast enough. 

Many border communities are affected from Kerem Shalom and Sufa to Yad Mordechai and Karmia, throughout the western Negev up to 20 kilometers from the border. This week, the first incendiary balloons reached all the way to the city of Be'er Sheva, 40km from the Gaza border. 
Batia Holin, Kfar Aza Resident (Gaza border community) & retired OR Movement employee, has been documenting the attacks since the beginning through Facebook posts, photography, and videos giving updates on day-to-day life there.
Sources on the ground estimate more than 1,500 fires destroying 40,000 dunams (nearly 10,000 acres) of land, including wildlife reserves.
The communities try to maintain their daily routines as much as they can. The farmers continue to work, but in addition to their daily work, they have now become firefighters as well. The parents and staff are working hard this summer to give children the freedom and safety to have a fun and normal summer vacation, but many have resorted to sleeping in the bomb shelter rooms in their homes and keeping kids inside due to poor air quality and the concern of new and continuing fires.
Photo Credits: Batia Holin
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Despite this cruel new method of terrorism, the communities with many families from all parts of Israel sent a message of peace by sending a few thousand balloons across the border.

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