“The wind is still against us,” Ismail al-Qrinawi, 41, said about 4 p.m. at a protest site near Bureij, about halfway along the 25-mile eastern border of the Gaza Strip. “We are waiting for it to pick up so we can fly tens of kites and burn their crops,” he added, as masked men waited nearby with a couple of kites and gasoline.
Justifying the tactic, Mr. Qrinawi said, “They sell the crops and buy bullets to shoot us.”
Mr. Qrinawi, who said he had spent four years in Israeli jails, had prepared 40 kites with help from his four children over the past couple of days.
In previous weeks, Palestinians protesters have burned flags and heaps of tires to create a thick, black smoke screen in an effort to protect themselves from Israeli snipers or to try to damage or breach the fence.
While thousands of protesters have demonstrated peacefully in tent encampments set up at five points along the border, some have hurled stones and firebombs and have defied Israeli warnings to stay away from the fence.
This Friday, the direction of the wind not only thwarted the kites, but also blew copious amounts of Israeli tear gas toward the protesters, up to 700 yards from the fence, chasing many away. The smoke from the burning tires also blew west, leaving those near the fence without cover.