Israeli army officials have told politicians that the right response to the launching of incendiary kites from the occupied Gaza Strip is to target Hamas sites, rather than those dispatching the kites.
According to reports in the Israeli media on Sunday, a military official “told residents of southern Israel that if the IDF were to respond more harshly to the airborne arson devices being sent from the Gaza Strip, it would lead to war”.
“The alternative to kite terror is war,” the official said. “If we respond too strongly it could lead to an escalation of hostilities. You would be in your bomb shelters and you don’t want that, especially when the construction of the barrier against the tunnels has not yet been completed”.
Haaretz reported that “senior officials in the defence establishment made it clear to politicians on Sunday that they believe the way to cope with incendiary kites and balloons is to attack Hamas targets and not to harm those launching the flammable objects”.
“The army believes that attacking groups launching the kites and balloons will result in too many casualties and another round of violence it would prefer to avoid”.
“According to the army”, the report continued, “attacking Hamas targets will be more effective as it will extract a price from the organisation and pressure it to stop the arsons in the south on its own”.
The Times of Israel noted that “the army has signalled in recent days that it may be looking into moving beyond warning shots, amid mounting political pressure to prevent the daily attacks from the air”.