Israel’s Air Force shot down a drone launched by Hamas from Gaza on Monday morning.
The military said it had destroyed the unmanned vehicle in mid-flight on the Mediterranean coast near the city of Ashdod, using a Patriot missile. Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades confirmed that it had launched several drones to conduct “special missions inside the Zionist entity”.
Code Red sirens, which usually sound to signal an imminent rocket strike, were set off in Ashdod by the approaching aircraft.
Almost 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza since hostilities erupted, but no drone was previously known to have been flown toward Israel.
The Israeli Navy was searching the area to examine the remnants of the aircraft. IDF did not disclose what the aircraft was carrying.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon emphasized the great losses that Hamas had suffered in the seven days since Operation Protective Edge began. "When Hamas comes out of their hiding places they will discover the extent of the destruction and the damage that we caused the organization that will cause them to regret that they entered this round of fighting against Israel," Ya'alon said at an IDF briefing.
On Sunday, a rocket fired from Gaza damaged power lines in Israel that resulted in the loss of power to 70,000 Palestinians in the coastal strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Infrastructure Minister Silvan Shalom instructed the Israel Electric Company not to endanger its employees by repairing the lines from Sunday night’s outage while the threat of rocket attacks from Gaza remains. The lines were knocked down at Kissufim, near the Gaza border.
“The power company plans to remedy the problem,” Israel Electric said in a statement sent to JTA. “However, in view of the security situation and the great danger faced by employees by making the repair under fire, the error will be corrected as soon as we possibly can in terms of security.”
Also Sunday, a rocket fired from Syria hit Israel on the Golan Heights. The rocket fell in an open area and caused no casualties.