Israel-Gaza conflict: Military drone from Gaza shot down over Israel

First time unmanned aircraft like the one shown has been used against Israel

A drone from Gaza has been shot down on its way into Israel, according to authorities.

Israeli forces said it was the first time an unmanned aircraft had been encountered since the start of its campaign against Hamas last week.

More than 170 Palestinians have died in Israeli airstrikes so far and while almost 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israel, no one has been killed.

Hamas said it has developed two types of drones — one for intelligence gathering and one for delivering munitions.

The group claimed three drones were launched into Israel on Monday but the military insisted there was only one.

It was shot down in flight by a Patriot missile along Israel’s southern coastline, near the city of Ashod.

Hamas said it lost contact with one of the drones and that targets had included the Israeli Defence Ministry compound in Tel Aviv.

It was the first time the militant group publicly acknowledged it has drones in its arsenal. 

"Hamas is trying everything it can to produce some kind of achievement and it is crucial that we maintain our high state of readiness," the Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon, said.

"The shooting down of a drone this morning by our air defense system is an example of their efforts to strike at us in any way possible."

Israel started Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday in response to rocket fire from Gaza and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that the offensive could last for “a long time”.

The first clashes happened on the ground on Sunday when troops were deployed to destroy an alleged rocket site in Beit Lahia. Flyers warning residents of the impending attack with a deadline to evacuate.

Thousands of Palestinians have already fled as Israeli strikes show no sign of slowing.

While the Israel Defence Force (IDF) claims it does all in its power to limit collateral damage, many of the people killed by strikes have been civilians, including women and young children.

The military has defended its tactics by saying it aims to avoid collateral damage with precision and by using “knock on the door” missiles and phone calls to warn residents in target areas.

Eight members of the same family were killed in a single strike when the warnings were used after some reportedly tried to act as “human shields” to stop the missile being fired.

The Israeli military said it was too late to stop the attack and called it a “tragic mistake” and has since uploaded videos showing airstrikes being aborted off when civilians are seen near targets.

The Government is coming under growing international pressure to end the operation.

World leaders and the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, have called for an immediate ceasefire and Egypt is continuing work to broker a ceasefire.

Additional reporting by AP

Read more: Netanyahu blames Hamas for civilian casualties
Human cost of conflict continues to rise
Images appear to show Israelis cheering Gaza bombardment
Footage shows controversial 'knock on the door' tactic
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all