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Hamas announces 'manufacture' of aerial drones

On Monday, the Israeli army said it had shot down a Hamas drone over Ashdod.

14.07.2014
Hamas announces 'manufacture' of aerial drones

GAZA CITY

The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, has revealed that its engineers had managed to manufacture three different types of aerial drone, which the group says are designed to carry out "special operations" inside Israel.

In a statement, the Brigades said it had launched three homemade drones – dubbed 'Ababil 1' – over Israel on Monday on various missions. Contact with two of the drones, however, had been lost, it noted.

It went on to claim that one of its drones had already "carried out specific missions" over Israeli Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.

According to the Brigades, the drone's "A1A" type is designed for carrying out reconnaissance; the "A1B" for attack and bomb-dropping missions; and the "A1C" for kamikaze missions.

The Brigades has claimed responsibility for a drone shot down by the Israeli army over the coastal city of Ashdod earlier Monday.

The group said it had launched the drone to carry out "special missions" inside Israel, giving no further details.

On Monday, the Israeli army said it had shot down a Hamas drone over Ashdod.

"An aerial drone from Gaza infiltrated Israel a short time ago. IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] forces shot it down with a Patriot missile above Ashdod," the army said on its official Twitter account.

Avichay Adraee, spokesman for the Israeli military to Arab media, held Hamas responsible for the drone that entered Israeli airspace.

For the last week, Israel has launched a fierce military onslaught on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip – dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" – with the stated aim of ending rocket fire from the embattled coastal enclave.

Since last Monday, Israeli warplanes have staged hundreds of airstrikes across the strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – while ground troops remain amassed on the borders in advance of a possible ground assault.

At least 173 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in unrelenting Israeli aerial attacks.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israel – some of which have reached Tel Aviv – in response to the ongoing offensive.

No Israeli fatalities have been reported thus far as a result of rocket fire from Gaza.

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