Israel shoots down Hamas drone

The Israel Air Force thwarted another attempt by Hamas to breach Israel’s air space.

An Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 fighter plane shot down a Hamas-flown Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) over the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

The drone, which crashed into the sea after being shot down, did not enter Israeli airspace at any time, the IDF said in a statement.

“The IDF will not tolerate any breach of [Israel’s] airspace and will act with determination against any attempt to do so,” the IDF stated.

The terror organization, which rules the Gaza Strip, has attempted to penetrate Israeli airspace in the past with drones, most recently in September.

In June 2015, a Hamas drone crashed inside Israel.

In July 2014, a UAV flying from Gaza was shot down over Ashdod by a Patriot missile battery during Operation Protective Edge.

In February 2016, security inspectors and Israeli security forces prevented an attempt to smuggle several drones into Gaza, suspected to have been intended for Hamas’ use.

A close examination of cargo marked as toys revealed that several drones, of different models and sizes and equipped with hi-tech cameras, were hidden underneath.

Hamas has been working for over a decade to develop aircraft that could be used for surveillance or attack missions.

Mohammed Al-Zawari, an aviation engineer working for Hamas, was shot dead in December in the Tunisian city of Sfax. Hamas confirmed that Zawari was a member of their military wing and a pioneer in their drone program.

Israel’s Mossad espionage agency has unofficially been implicated in the hit, while Hamas has directly blamed Israel and threatened to retaliate.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News