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Israel uses amateur drone racers to take down ‘kite bombs’ from Gaza

Israel started to use amateur drone racers to take down ‘kite bombs’ and burning kites, flown from Gaza into their country, where oftentimes they start small bushfires. According to the Israeli army, it was the first time that a kite outfitted with an explosive device actually landed in Israeli territory after being launched from Gaza. The race drones, operated by amateur drone pilots can reach speeds of up to 110 miles per hour and were first deployed last Friday to shred kites to pieces or to take them down with fishhooks. So far about 40 kites have been taken down.

‘Kite bombs’ taken down by race drones

Last Friday, marks the first time that the Israeli army uses amateur race drones to take down burning kites or kites outfitted with small explosives. The racing drones either fly through the kites and shred them to pieces or take them down with the help of fishhooks. So far 40 kites that were deployed by Palestinians, have been taken down, according to World Israel News.

One kite carrying what may be a remotely operated explosive did land near the kibbutz of Nahal Oz in Israel last Saturday, after being deployed from Gaza. Police forces who inspected the kite suspect that it was a dud or even a fake explosive device to test the range of the kite and the remote detonation by phone. However, it could indicate a new phase in the so-called kite-terrorism against Israel.

Palestinian rioters fly an arson terror kite at the Gaza border. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

According to Haaretz, in recent weeks, the Palestinians have used burning kites, that they would let glide into Israel as a way to ignite small bushfires when they land in the scrubs across the border. This time however, when the security forces arrived at the site, they discovered an explosive device hidden inside the kite with a remote detonator attached to it, that could be operated from a mobile phone.

Unclear whether the device was a fully-functional bomb or not, the Israeli forces say this may have been a test from the Palestinians to see how far a kite can be flown into Israel while staying in range for remote detonation. Locals have been asked not to touch any kites they might find.

The Israeli Army stated that if indeed the Palestinians are starting to use booby trap kites, the Army may be forced to change his open-fire-protocols and also include those who are launching kites even from a safe distance from the border.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo