When the naturalist John Muir walked from California’s coast to the Sierra Nevada, he crossed vast fields of wildflowers noting that his feet “would press a hundred flowers at every step.”
Israel has been under unique assault from the terrorist group Hamas, the democratically elected authority in the Gaza Strip, for more than two months. The current turmoil is part of the pre-planned and carefully orchestrated “Great Return March” protests at the Gaza-Israeli border.
In addition to the mass protests by men, women, and children, bussed to over a dozen Palestinian protest points along the border, many set tires on fire and rolled them toward the security fencing at the physical border. Hamas reportedly would pay if a protester was injured and would pay the family even more if that member was killed, for the sake of Islamic jihad.
Under the cover of the thick, black smoke generated from the burning tires, there have been repeated efforts to cut the wire of the security fencing and broach the border into Israel. Once there, the terrorists would hope to kill or kidnap as many Israelis as possible.
In addition to the rocks and bottles thrown or shot by large slingshots or crude catapult-like constructions, many of the protestors learned to fly large kites, with incendiary devices attached, over the border into Israel, hoping to burn crops or damage the homes and schools of the peaceful residents of the nearby Israeli communities.
Some “killer-kites” carried slow burning incendiaries, like burning charcoal. Similarly, Helium-filled balloons are believed to be used to drip fire accelerator in the flammable areas.
Drones, operated by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), have managed to bring down more than 400 flaming kites launched from Gaza, while firefighters are working to gain control of nearly 200 blazes burning some 2,500 acres near various kibbutzim (collective farms) and towns, which border along the central and northern sectors of the Gaza Strip.
These arsonist tactics by Hamas terrorists have started devastating fires in southern Israel’s wheat fields, towns, and now in the Carmina nature preserve. Authorities estimate the wildfires have destroyed some 2,000 to 3,000 dunams (500 to 740 acres) of fields and forested areas, or about one-third of the Carmina reserve.
Some of the trees were “planted as long as 50 years ago as part of making the desert bloom have been wiped out by these fires.” This has caused massive damage to both the flora and the fauna in the popular park.
These arsonist tactics frighten vulnerable families and the decimating fires have caused tens of millions of shekels of damage. Affected Israeli farmers are being told they will immediately be compensated for only half of this terrorist-caused devastation.
Meanwhile, Islamic imams in mosques throughout the Gaza Strip and The Islamic Republic of Iran continue each week to instill hatred and incite violence. Therefore, it is not surprising when their followers start transforming weekly chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” into hideous actions of hatred.
Additionally, pre-planned protests and riots were expected last Friday, the fourth Friday of Ramadan, throughout Gaza, Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria, in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. It seems they want violence for violence sake, with as many casualties as possible for the Western media to obsess over.
This, is the “Religion of Peace”?
Gary Curtis is a Santa Clarita resident.