‘Large Explosion’: IDF shoots down aircraft over Gaza

Residents of southern Israel reported hearing a large explosion, and video footage circulating on social media appeared to show the Iron Dome air defense system launching an interceptor missile.

By JNS

Israeli air defense systems downed an unmanned aerial vehicle over the Gaza Strip late on Saturday night, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The military said that the incident did not involve Palestinian rocket fire and that it was further investigating.

Residents of southern Israel reported hearing a large explosion, and video footage circulating on social media appeared to show the Iron Dome air defense system launching an interceptor missile.

Sirens were not activated in Israeli communities along the Gaza border.

The IDF did not provide further information regarding the operators of the drone, and notably did not conduct retaliatory strikes against Hamas assets in the Gaza Strip, which has long been Jerusalem’s policy following rockets attacks and other violations of Israeli airspace.

The incident comes after the IDF conducted strikes in Gaza overnight Wednesday in response to a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists.

The IDF said that it had struck a Hamas weapons manufacturing site and another facility used by the Palestinian terrorist group to produce and store chemicals used in the missiles’ manufacture.

Twelve additional projectiles were fired from Gaza as Israeli fighter jets conducted the strikes, according to the military. Eleven exploded in open areas or mid-air, and one fell short in the Palestinian enclave.

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The Israeli strikes delivered a significant blow to Hamas’s ability to strengthen and arm itself, said the military, which reiterated that Israel holds the Palestinian terror group responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza.

The air strikes came hours after Palestinian terrorists fired one rocket from Gaza at Israel, setting off sirens in the city of Sderot and in Kibbutz Nir Am and the village of Ibim nearby.