Israeli Fighter Jet Shoots Down Hamas Drone Over Gaza

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
An Israeli fighter jet shooting down a Hamas drone off the coat of the Gaza Strip, September 20, 2016.
An Israeli fighter jet shooting down a Hamas drone off the coat of the Gaza Strip, September 20, 2016.Credit: Screenshot from IDF Spokesperson's Unit video

An Israeli jet shot down a Hamas drone on Tuesday over the Gaza Strip coastline, the military said.

The drone did not infiltrate Israeli airspace and had been under surveillance from the moment it took off from Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

The decision to shoot the drone down was reached after it was seen approaching Israeli airspace, the military said.

An F-16 Israel Air Force fighter jet, which was dispatched to intercept the drone, fired an air-to-air missile at the drone at around 10 A.M, shooting it down.

The military said air traffic was prohibited over the Gaza Strip.

Two years ago during the 2014 violent conflict in Gaza, an Israel Air Force Patriot battery shot down a Hamas drone.

A Hamas drone during a demonstration in Gaza, 2014.Credit: Khalil Hamara, AP

"The IDF will not allow any violation of [Israeli] airspace and will act decisively against any such attempt," the military statement said.

In July, Israel unsuccessfully tried to intercept a Russian drone that breached its airspace over the Golan Heights. The military tried to shoot down the drone three times – first with two Patriot missiles, and then with a fighter jet. But the drone escaped unscathed. An Israeli official said at the time that the infiltration stemmed from a human error.

The intrusion was the most serious incident involving the Israeli and Russian militaries since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces to Syria in September 2015 in support of President Bashar Assad's regime. 

Click the alert icon to follow topics: