There was rampant violence along Israel’s border during the summer of 2018, with about 112 deaths reported between March 30 and May 14 as Hamas repeatedly tried to breach the Middle East democracy’s border.
Of the reported deaths, 93 people were people associated with terrorist groups.
One of the terror strategies used by Hamas was to send kites dangling coal embers or burning rags from Gaza over Israel’s farmland and forests to set them ablaze.
“It began spontaneously. We never thought we would achieve such good results,” said Shadi, one of five Palestinian teenagers preparing kites with fabric dipped in diesel and lubricant oil in a Gaza field, Reuters reported.
Israel said nearly 2,300 acres, almost four square miles, was burned.
But now a response is developing.
Breaking Israel News reported a coalition of farmers traveled to the Netherlands this week to file a lawsuit against Hamas in the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Explains the report: “The allegations include the burning of agricultural areas with the use of the incendiary devices, attacks on the Israeli border, the use of children in combat and of the civilian population of Gaza as human shields. Named as parties in the suit are Khaled Mashal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri, Meshal’s deputy, and Zaher Jabarin, a top financial officer in Hamas. Jabarin was expelled from Israel after being released from Israeli prison as part of the prisoner exchange carried out to free the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.”
One of the farmers, Ofer Leiberman, told Israeli Army Radio before the trip: “What they are trying to do is to burn us, not just our fields. It’s a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The lawsuit is backed by Shurat Hadin, which BIN described as a civil rights non-governmental organization focused on representing terrorism victims.
The head of the group, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, released a statement.
“The existing security reality in which fields and forests in Israel are being burned every day by activists from a terrorist organization is unacceptable,” Darshan-Leitner said.
“It is not acceptable that senior figures in Hamas accuse Israel of war crimes while they use [their] civilian population, particularly children, as a human shield for their terrorist activities – which are repeatedly directed at the citizens of Israel. As a result, we are calling on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to bring them to justice.”
Besides accusing Hamas of trying to murder non-combatants with its fires, the lawsuit also charges Hamas with transporting civilians to the border to use as shields.
The complaint made note of the more than 250 rockets Hamas has fired into Israel since the Hamas-led March of Return protests began in May.