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
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee