Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Palestinians Destroy Own Gas Line

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Palestinians flew fire kites into Israeli territory and successfully set their own gas line on fire. In response, Israel is shutting down the only entry way for goods to be sent to Gaza… because the Palestinians destroyed that, too.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

The bulk of the actions took place on Friday and Saturday at the Erez crossing point to the north of the Gaza strip and the Kerem Shalom crossing point to the south.


Riots Damage Gas Pipeline

On Friday, thousands of Palestinian supporters chose to protest along the security perimeter around Israel.

Earlier in the day, the Palestinians fly “fire kites” into Israeli territory and one Palestinian was killed attempting to illegally cross the border.

At the Kerem Shalom crossing, Palestinians destroyed infrastructure and set fire to a gas pipeline. But, the gas pipeline sent gas to the Palestinians, effectively only hurting themselves (and causing millions in damage). The Israeli Defense League says this is the second time in the last few days that Palestinians have destroyed what has been helping them, including the destruction of equipment sent from the international community.

Terror Tunnels

According to the IDF, the ‘terror tunnel’ is the ninth tunnel running from Gaza that has been found and destroyed by Israeli strikes since October 30th. Of the nine tunnels, five were “attack tunnels” that crossed into Israeli territory and four were inside Gaza, likely used to move troops and munitions undetected.

The tunnel destroyed on Saturday was near the Erez pedestrian crossing, and was only meters away from reaching into Israeli land.

The Erez crossing point, on the top right of this map, has the same metal detectors and detection machines used at airports, and it is the main crossing point for people walking to and from Gaza.

Erez Tunnel

Speaking with media about the destruction of the tunnel near the Erez crossing point, Israeli military said:

“The detection of the tunnel [near Erez crossing] and its demolition is part of the ongoing effort to thwart the underground terror by Gaza-based terror groups headed by the Palestinian terror group Hamas.”

The tunnel was approximately 0.6 miles long and had been under development for months. The tunnel has been hit, but it is not necessarily fully destroyed.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the army said that they chose to get the tunnel with an airstrike instead of a ground force due to a few concerns including the convenience of air-based attacks.

They had been watching the tunnel for “several weeks” and chose Saturday night as the best time to knock it out.

“Hamas continues to pour vast resources into building tunnels and thwarts humanitarian efforts that allow Israel and other countries to help Gaza residents, instead of investing in developing the Strip.”

As part of the violence, Palestinians destroyed infrastructure belonging to the Kerem Shalom crossing which is the only entry point for goods produced outside the region to enter. The crossing point, on the map above, is on the southern portion of Gaza territory.

With the “extensive damage” to the crossing, Israel announced they would be closing it until repairs can be made to the nearby gas line and the conveyor belt used to transport goods into the Strip.

But, after the crossing was destroyed, Israel announced that they would be allowing six trucks with medical equipment to enter through the broken crossing in spite of the damage.

Fire Kites

In the last few weeks, Israel forces have been dealing with “fire kites” being sent into Israel that are attacked to Molotov cocktails and burning fuel containers. These kits have been setting fire to crops and other fields.

The “fire kite” method of terrorism was introduced at the March 30th “March of Return” start date, which plans to escalate until next week when the US Embassy in Jerusalem officially opens. We covered the initial interactions on March 31st that included the United Nations blaming Israel for the deaths of rioters.

Since the start of the fire kites, the largest fire to occur was more than 4 miles from Gaza’s eastern border, which took over six hours to extinguish. There are upwards of 15 kites being sent every day, and the IDF has been using drone technology to burn them out of the air. Forty kites were prevented from landing on Friday thanks to this tactic, and last week the IDF struck the Hamas-run launch site for the kites.

Sources: The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Online

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