An unattended, suspicious donkey struggling with a heavy load was slowly heading toward a group of Israeli soldiers on Friday, July 18, in the Rafah area. The soldiers determined the donkey was loaded down with explosives and used gunfire to detonate the load, thereby setting off the explosives and killing the donkey. Hamas claimed responsibility for this attack on Israeli forces.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) received intelligence that militants were stepping up their exploitation of animals to wreak havoc on Israeli forces. Use of innocent, unfortunate animals to carry explosives toward Israeli armed forces has been a tactic used by terrorists in the past but, according to the intelligence sources, use of animal couriers is now increasingly planned and with more diabolical twists.
The spokesperson for the IDF said,
This cruel incident is the most recent attempt by Gaza terror organizations to make such an abominable use of animals as explosives couriers.
One of the earliest incidents involving an animal courier occurred in 1995 when a cart loaded with explosives, pulled by a donkey, and driven by a Palestinian militant drove into an IDF position in Khan Yunis and detonated the bomb.
In 2001, terrorist organizations increased their efforts using bomb-laden animal couriers. In a number of incidents, donkey carts were used in the southern Gaza Strip. Again donkeys were used in 2003 to carry bombs or pull carts loaded with explosives. Terrorists were now using remote detonation to remotely trigger the bombs.
Then in 2009, terrorists began using horses carrying mines and explosives as well as continuing the use of donkey carts. Soldiers have also reported the use of dogs to inundate Israeli forces. The dogs are turned loose wearing explosive belts.
Increasingly, in 2012 and 2013, bombs involving donkey carts caused numerous deaths and injuries in Pakistan and Afghanistan, clearly confirming past successes of the donkey bombs.
Terror in all its forms is a dirty business and, certainly, using unfortunate animals is always fatal to them.