Surprise Explosion: ‘Experimental’ Hamas drone destroyed by IDF

Baffled by the lack of sirens or any IDF announcement, some residents thought they were under attack.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip was spotted in southern Israel on Monday morning, the IDF reported.

Israelis living near the Strip reported seeing the UAV in the sky for nearly 40 minutes before hearing a loud explosion. Rocket sirens usually accommodate similar explosions, which mostly indicate rocket launches from Gaza or Iron Dome batteries intercepting them. Not this time.

Baffled by the lack of sirens or any IDF announcement, some residents thought they were under attack.

“We saw a rocket or something similar being launched, followed by a trail of hot exhaust,” a resident of one of the towns surrounding the Gaza Strip told Channel 12. “At some point we heard a very scary explosion. We knew it was only a matter of time before we were under fire again, and here it is happening again.”

The IDF eventually issued a statement that read: IDF air defense soldiers have intercepted a drone launched by the Hamas terror group … the UAV was monitored by the IDF’s air force ground control throughout the entire the incident.”

The statement added that the drone was shot down over the sea along Gaza’s coastline.

According to Palestinian reports cited by Kan News, an experimental device was being tested by Hamas and was launched from the area of Gaza City in the Strip. The test was carried out, according to the reports, as part of Hamas’ continued efforts to improve its offensive capabilities.

Many Israelis living nearby the Gaza Strip still bear the scars of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons launched by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad on a daily basis, which have terrorized their daily lives and have threatened the main source of income for many of those living in the area – agriculture.

The Israeli government has recently approved a budget of $80 million for reinforcing infrastructure and security in towns surrounding Gaza. However, Ashkelon mayor and others have voiced concern over the approved budget, arguing that it’s not enough.

Monday’s incident comes as reports indicate significant progress made in recent days in the negotiations over a potential prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.