Hamas' military wing claimed on Wednesday that it managed to take control of an Israeli drone and to operate it.
According to the announcement by the Iz Al-Din al-Qassam Brigades on Al-Aqsa TV, the Skylark 1 drone was taken under Hamas control on July 22. They claimed that a a special unit of the military wing took the drone apart, put it back together again, and then operated it.
The announcement included a short video purporting to show the drone being rebuilt by a masked Hamas militant.
"The enemy should know that the Al-Aqsa Brigades always lie in wait for him and will surprise again," the annoucement said, also calling on young people to join the struggle against Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces said that they were not aware of any unmanned aerial vehicle falling Gaza, or of Hamas taking control of any drone.
The Skylark 1 is a relatively small craft intended for tactical use on the ground. The IDF operates these drones using small teams that work with the military infantry corps. The unit that operates these drones is nicknamed the "Sky Riders" unit. It was active in the fighting in Gaza last summer. The drone itself weighs only seven kilograms, and is used as an intelligence-gathering tool for IDF field brigade commanders.
According to data from the Sky Riders unit, which was officially established in Octber 2010, these drones carried out around 100 trips a day during Operation Protective Edge.
In June, a drone of this kind landed in the Gaza Strip, next to the border fence, because of a technical fault. Another drone fell a year ago in the area of Marj Ayyun. The drone fell south of Lebanon during a sortie along the border.