An unmanned drone which originated from the Gaza Strip was shot down by Israel Monday morning as it crossed into Israeli airspace.
The drone, which came over the coast of Ashdod, set off air raid sirens along the southern coastal city before it was downed by a Patriot surface-to-air missile launched from the center of the country.
It is believed that the drone was launched by Hamas which is estimated to have a small fleet of drones. While the size of the drone could only carry a small amount of explosives, the drone itself has the potential to cause serious damage or injury.
Hamas claimed that it launched six drones into Israel on Monday. The terror group stated that it built three different types that are able to carry out surveillance missions and carry explosive payloads to evemy targets.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed military wing, said that one of the drones managed to penetrate as far as Tel Aviv and hover of the IDF Headquarters in the Hakirya complex. The IDF has refuted these claims.
Monday morning, the Israeli Air Force carried out targeted strikes against 40 terror targets after a barrage of rockets rained down upon Israel’s southern region.
More than 130 rockets were fired at Israel on Sunday, with 22 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile Defense system. In response, the IAF struck several areas in Gaza. Army Radio confirmed that 75 terror targets were successfully hit.
Sunday’s barrage from Gaza were accompanied by some unexpected rocket fire from Lebanon Sunday night as well. Three rockets exploded in the western Galilee region, hitting open areas.
The rockets caused Red Alert sirens to go off in the region as the IDF responded with artillery fire towards the source of the rocket fire in Lebanon. This is the third time a rocket from Lebanon has been fired into Israel since Friday.
A rocket was also shot into Israel on Sunday evening from Syria in what IDF officials are calling a deliberate attack. The rocket landed in the Golan Heights and exploded in an open area. “The assumption is that it was not a stray,” an army spokeswoman told AFP.
News of the rocket attacks in the north, along with those from Gaza, were met by a report Monday morning out of Egypt in what officials are calling a foiled terror attack on Israel. Egyptian security officials thwarted late Sunday an attempt by terrorists operating in the Sinai Peninsula to launch two rockets into Israel.
Operation Protective Edge, which is now in its seventh day, is aimed at targeting Hamas’s leaders and terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated that Hamas will regret starting up with Israel.
“When Hamas’s leadership comes out of hiding, they will discover the extent of the destruction that we have caused their organization, and will regret having engaged Israel in this round of fighting,” he said in a statement.
While the government has yet to order an official ground operation into Gaza, the IDF declared an area north of the Strip as a closed military zone. The IDF is continuing to bolster its forces along the border, which in conjunction with the zone closure, indicates that the army is preparing for an imminent ground offensive.
Since the start of Operation Protective Edge on July 8, terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip have fired approximately 980 rockets into Israel. 200 of those rockets, which were headed in a straight trajectory towards Israeli cities, were intercepted by Iron Dome.
According to the IDF, air, naval and special forces have struck around 1,470 terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including 770 rocket launcher, 210 terror tunnels, 69 “training bases and militant compounds,” and 63 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities.