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The Daily TIP: Blazes Started by "Fire Kites" Destroy 7 Square Miles of Forest, as Gaza Riots Continue

Posted by Tip Staff - June 04, 2018

Blazes Started by "Fire Kites" Destroy 7 Square Miles of Forest, as Gaza Riots Continue
German Chancellor Merkel: We will “Exert Our Influence” to Oust Iran from Syria
Argentine Appeals Court: Nisman Killed as "Direct Consequence" of Investigation of Kirchner
Israel Sends Emergency Aid to Guatemala Following Deadly Volcano Eruption


Blazes Started by "Fire Kites" Destroy 7 Square Miles of Forest, as Gaza Riots Continue

Fires started by Hamas-led rioters flying kite carrying fire bombs have consumed nearly 17,500 dunams — 7 square miles — of land and caused an estimated $1.4 million worth of damage in southern Israel, The Times of Israel reported Monday.

For several weeks rioters have been attaching incendiary devices to kites and balloons — though the tactic is known generally as "fire kites" — and flying them over the border to set fire to vegetation and presenting a threat to Israelis in the area.

Israel has not yet developed an effective counter-measure for the "fire kites." An effort to use drones to intercept the kites has not succeeded. Instead, farmers plow the area around the fires to deprive them of the fuel they need to keep burning. Yet it is estimated that since Hamas started using the tactic, the kites and balloons have started 300 fires in southern Israel, consuming 10,000 dunams of (2,470 acres) of parks and nature reserves.

The violent riots have continued. On Monday, the IDF shot and killed a man carrying an axe, who breached the border fence with Israel. A second infiltrator was wounded, but escaped back into the Gaza Strip.

The latest violence comes on the heels of renewed rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, violating terms of an apparent ceasefire reached last week.

A Palestinian female paramedic died during the violent riots on Friday. Sources in Gaza say that Razan Najjar was shot in the chest. Israel says that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.



German Chancellor Merkel: We will “Exert Our Influence” to Oust Iran from Syria

At a press conference following a 90-minute meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany "will exert our influence in such a way that Iran is pushed out of this region,” The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.

Though the two leaders still differ on the merits of the nuclear deal with Iran, Merkel backed up Israel's insistence that Iran be denied a foothold in Syria.

Netanyahu warned that if Iran remained in Syria, it would not only have serious repercussions for Israel, but for Europe too. The Israeli leader noted that Syria is 96% Sunni and that Iran has an estimated 18,000 Shiite militiamen under its command there and looking to expand that total to 80,000 by trying to "convert the Sunni."

Regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, or JCPOA, Merkel said, "we stand by it." When asked how she could support the deal in light of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's recent tweet comparing Israel to a "cancer" that must be "eradicated," Merkel condemned the language but insisted that the deal was the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu also referenced Khamenei's tweet and asserted that it was “amazing that at the beginning of the 21st century, somebody talks about destroying Israel – that means destroying another six million-plus Jews. It is really quite extraordinary that this go on, but this is what we face.”



Argentine Appeals Court: Nisman Killed as "Direct Consequence" of Investigation of Kirchner

An Argentine federal appeals court ruled that Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered as a “direct consequence” of his accusations of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role in the AMIA terror attack, The Times of Israel reported Saturday.

Nisman was investigating the ties between Tehran and the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires, as well as a cover up by the previous Argentine government of Iran’s role in the attack. Hezbollah, the terror group backed by Iran, carried out the attack that left 85 people dead and more than 300 wounded.

The Argentine prosecutor was found dead with a gunshot to the head in January 2015, only hours before he was set to appear before a closed session of the Argentinian Congress. Before he died, Nisman drafted arrest warrants for Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman.

In its Friday ruling, the court told the lower-court judges to focus on the criminal investigation “with the speed and seriousness that such a grave fact imposes.”

In December of 2017, federal judge Julian Ercolini wrote in a 656 page ruling that the shot to the head that killed the prosecutor was not self-inflicted. The judge’s ruling also noted that Diego Lagomarsino, Nisman’s IT employee, was possibly an accessory to murder.

Nisman had accused Kirchner and other government officials of covering up Tehran’s involvement in the bombing in exchange for commercial benefits for Argentina.



Israel Sends Emergency Aid to Guatemala Following Deadly Volcano Eruption

Israel is sending emergency aid money to Guatemala after a devastating volcanic eruption that killed at least 25, injured hundreds, and left cities in the region covered in ash.

In a statement today, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced that it was sending $10,000 to Guatemala through its embassy there, for emergency supplies including medicine, food and blankets.

Israeli trained first responders in Guatemala are also on their way to help after the Volcan de Fuego erupted on Sunday, spewing molten rock, ash and black smoke into the sky, in what is thought to be the worst eruption since 1974, according to local experts.

The volunteers were trained earlier this year by Israel’s ZAKA International Rescue Unit. The three-day search and rescue course in Guatemala was designed to give local volunteers the necessary skills to offer immediate assistance to emergency forces in the event of a mass casualty incident in their communities or regions.

Lava flows from the Volcan de Fuego, which is about 40 kilometers from the capital Guatemala City, hit the village of El Rodeo, burying people inside their homes, and also destroyed bridges and roads in the region, hampering rescue efforts.

Some 1.7 million people are thought to have been affected by the eruption.

In May, Guatemala became the second country after the United States to open its embassy in Jerusalem.

(via Israel21c)


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