Iron Dome Shot Down an Israeli Drone During Israel-Gaza Fighting

During the 11 days of fighting between Israel and Gaza, the Iron Dome intercepted an IDF Skylark drone from the Sky Rider unit that carries out observation and intelligence gathering missions

Yaniv Kubovich
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An iron dome battery deployed in Ashkelon last week.
An iron dome battery deployed in Ashkelon last week.Credit: Ahmad Gharabli / AFP
Yaniv Kubovich

Air force soldiers responsible for operating the Iron Dome shot down an IDF drone during the recent fighting in Gaza because they mistakenly identified it as a hostile aircraft, causing great concern among IDF officials.

This unusual incident sent shockwaves through the Air Force, which operates the Iron Dome air defense system – and relies heavily on their ability to identify enemy forces in the skies over Israel and around it.

The intercepted drone was a Skylark, used by the IDF Sky Rider unit that carries out observation and intelligence gathering missions.

The IDF is investigating the incident and is worried about it because the entirety of the IDF’s combat plans prepared in recent years are based on multi-dimensional fighting with close coordination between land, air and sea forces.

The shooting down of a drone raises doubts whether the IDF is sufficiently prepared and possesses the necessary capabilities to conduct a long period of fighting without harming its own forces.

During the Israel-Gaza conflict, representatives from a foreign aviation authority allowed Israel to leave its airspace open to civilian aviation after Israeli officials made the case that the Iron Dome has the capability to distinguish between hostile and non-threatening aircraft.

The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said: “As part of the round of fighting in Gaza and as part of the defense of the country’s skies, an IDF Skylark drone was hit by Iron Dome. The incident is under investigation."

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