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Israel is on fire

A charred cactus, an abandoned bird's nest, toys among the ashes: These image tell the story of Gazan arson kites (PHOTO ESSAY)

There were fields and fields of black. I was with a large group of 300 photographers on a trip to southern Israel to document the destruction caused by flaming kites and balloons.

It seems the world doesn’t know, but for more than three months, fighting fire has been the daily routine of the people in southern Israel where, instead of working the land, they have to watch it burn. Kites and balloons carrying flaming materials are sent from the Gaza strip every day into the nearby Israeli communities, setting fire to everything — entire agricultural fields, nature reserves.

The plants that every winter and spring fill the area with life have been turned into ashes. The dead bodies of animals that weren’t fast enough to escape the flames or the smoke are strewn across the naked, ashy fields and amid the stumps of forests that once used to be green and full of life. This is the reality of daily life across much of southern Israel.

These photos were all taken at Be’eri and Shmurat Karmia near Gaza on Friday, July 6, 2018. Please share these images to let people know what’s going on. #israelonfire #דרוםשחור

Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

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Near Gaza, July 6, 2018 (Adena Levine)

אין לי ארץ אחרת גם אם אדמתי בוערת
I have no other country even if my land is burning! (Ehud Manor)

כְּאֵשׁ תִּבְעַר יָעַר וּכְלֶהָבָה תְּלַהֵט הָרִים.
As the fire that burneth the forest, and as the flame that setteth the mountains ablaze (Psalms 83)

About the Author
Adena Levine has been director of early childhood education programs in Jerusalem for the past 20 years. She is a photography lover who volunteers to take pictures at the JSPCA, programs at the Gilo community center and homes for the elderly. She likes to tell stories with pictures.
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