Blog Post #381:  Old Technologies in Warfare?  Fun-and-games in Israel

Blog Post #381:  Old Technologies in Warfare?  Fun-and-games in Israel

Taken from:   https://theconversation.com/gazas-fire-kites-and-balloon-bombs-ignite-tensions-99341

Kites?  Balloons?  Old school, right?  After all, Ben Franklin flew a kite with a metal key on it in a storm to see if lightning would hit it.  Balloons? What would a kids birthday party be without them?

(As I write, I picture the Dick van Dyke scene in Mary Poppins – “Let’s go fly a kite”!!)

So, in this article, Palestinians in the Gaza strip (next to Israel) are flying kites across the border into Israel.  But – many have a flaming device attached to them. They might have burning charcoal or oil-soaked rags on fire. Some even have delayed so that the fires will be started sometime in the future after the kites are launched.  So when the wind is right, the kites take off, the kite strings are cut, and the kite flies wherever the wind takes it. Eventually, the kite has to come down. It might be in a farmer’s field, or in a forested area. And (assuming the fire is still burning) they can set the field or forest on fire.  So, an old-school concept in modern warfare.

The article states that the fires are burning fields and forests. The forests are mostly wildlife preserves and are chasing deer, birds and other animals out of their habitat.  

“By mid-June, protesters had launched more than 600 kites and balloons, igniting 412 crop and forest fires. No injuries have been reported. But more than 3,200 hectares (32 square kilometres) of farmland and forests have burned. Agricultural damage is estimated at around US$2 million and firefighting expenses at US$550,000.”

If you stop and think, what does a kite cost?  A few dollars maybe? Through in burning charcoal or a burning oil-soaked rag – and maybe $20 (and probably not that much).  

But there are indirect expenses too.  Tourist numbers are down (I have to ask myself if I was visiting Israel would I want to visit the Gaza strip anyway?).  

So … how do you stop this?   Israeli forces are using remote-controlled quadcopters to ram the kites -and bring them down quickly – or even push them back over the border.

So, in this day-and-age, flying a kite can bring a lot of destruction fairly cheaply.

Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce White

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