Israeli Drone Fell in Gaza Strip Overnight, Army Says

Hamas' military branch said that they had gained control of the Israeli drone and uncovered details of the drone's mission

An Israeli army drone near the border with Gaza, 2018.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

An Israeli army drone fell overnight in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces reported Tuesday. 

The incident is currently being investigated. 

Hamas' military branch said that they had gained control of the Israeli drone and uncovered details of the drone's mission.

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According to Hamas, the drone was downed around 1:15 A.M. and had been on a targeted mission east of Rafah in the southern Strip. The drone was outfitted with cameras and nightvision equipment necessary to execute the mission, Hamas said.

This is the latest development in a string of exchanges between Israel and Gaza in addition to tensions along Israel's north following a strike that killed at least 18 Iranian-backed militia fighters in eastern Syria.

>> Read more: On the Iran front, Netanyahu is blurring the border between defense and politics | Analysis ■ Satellite images reveal damage of strike that reportedly killed 18 in Syria ■ How Israel, Hezbollah and Iran almost went to war this week | Analysis  

On Monday, the Israeli army said Shi'ite units led by Tehran's Quds Force attempted to fire several rockets Sunday overnight which failed to cross over to Israel.

The IDF later said that an Israeli unmanned aircraft fell outside the southern town of Ramyah during routine activity. Hezbollah issued a statement saying that the drone is currently in their custody. 

Meanwhile, a projectile was fired from Gaza on Sunday but failed to reach Israel, landing inside the Strip, one day after the IDF said it carried out several airstrikes in Gaza, including on a Hamas naval base and two complexes of the organization's aerial command.

According to the IDF, the strikes were in response to a drone attack earlier on Saturday, in which a Gaza drone entered Israeli airspace and dropped explosives on a military vehicle by the border fence.

A few hours earlier on Saturday, an Israeli military aircraft fired at what it identified as the Gaza cell that launched the drone attack.

On Friday night, Israel struck several Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets were launched from the Strip overnight Friday, targeting Hamas military positions near the Israeli border with aircraft and tank fire.