Who doesn’t love helium balloons? We hang them from mailboxes to mark party houses. We buy them at fairs and amusement parks. We gift them with flowers. We decorate them with birthday wishes.

Hamas terrorists use them to spark fires and fear.

On my last visit to Eshkol, I saw the charred fields caused by the incendiary balloons launched over the border from Gaza.

Kids in Eshkol don’t love balloons. They have learned to associate them with fire and terrorism, which trigger their PTSD.

Reporting of balloon terrorism rarely makes our news. Much to the chagrin of Eshkol residents, it rarely prompted retaliation from the Israeli government either, almost giving free reign to Hamas to continue the torment. It looks like this strategy may have changed with the first sign that Israel’s new government is going to handle things a little differently. This week, over a 24-hour period, Hamas balloons caused 26 fires, and the IDF responded by bombing ten targets in Gaza. Maybe the balloons will stop?

In other news, indicating a possible policy change from the new government, it was reported that plans are underway to set up a special committee to review the role of religious law in the country, potentially changing the status quo of conversion, kashrut, Shabbat transportation, etc. This news is hot off the press, and I’m sure we’ll be reading much more about it in the weeks ahead.