7 additional fires blazed through the Israeli countryside in the Gaza periphery on Tuesday, ignited by balloon bombs launched by Hamas operatives inside the Gaza Strip. As hundreds of protesters once again attempted to attack the border fence that separates the strip from Israel. Hand grenades, improvised bombs, and fire crackers were shot or thrown at security forces. A large explosion was heard in the northern area of the strip as a large bomb detonated, thankfully without any injuries.
Israeli security forces fired warning shots at protesters attempting to approach the fence. There were no reports of injuries.
In the Kibbutz of Kerem Shalom, children have been suffering from vomiting and shortness of breath due to breathing in the toxic fumes of burning tires and eplosive devices that has continually wafted across their town in the past few months. The news of the medical problems was exposed by Israeli media outlets on Tuesday as leaders from the Kibbutz decided that they should no longer keep the issue under wraps.
Symptoms have been growing among the children in the Kibbutz in particular over the past four months, but the situation has affected the adults as well. Many of the children have required medical intervention to offset the adverse affects of the pollutants in the air. The pollution is a direct result of the terror and the protests that are being carried out along the border by Hamas militants and protesters. The cloud of noxious fumes that is created by the burning tires and gas grenades that are being thrown in both directions drifts over the Kibbutz on an almost weekly basis if not more often, claims some news sites.
The town recently held an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with the issue and approached the IDF and leaders in the Defense Ministry and told them that they simply cannot continue in such a fashion.
This past Friday things took a dramatic turn for the worse. Members of the Kibbutz began to choke due to the thick smoke. Officials from the Ministry for Environmental Protection were sent to help clean the air in the area and monitor the situation. The pollution factor was way beyond safe limits. While the acceptable limits of air pollution is 132 on the pollutant index, the air ranked at 1380.
Residents were forced to remain inside their houses, in spite of the fact that even inside the air highly contaminated.
An resident who wished to remain anonymous told reporters that:”We cannot continue to live this way. Our children are being sacrificed. Until now, it has been a question of luck, whether a rocket or explosive balloon falls on you or not. Now, we are talking about a major health risk that is already impacting all of the residents here on a collective basis. Our very lives are at risk and we have already been exposed to this. We demand that the Defense Ministry deals with this insanity immediately. The IDF responds to these attacks on our health and our lives with gas grenades, which just make matters worse. They should be using live fire and not harming us as well.”
An IDF spokesperson confirmed the accounts of the residents and a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environmental Protection said that this issue poses a direct and immediate threat to the residents of the area.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)