Hamas Claims Multiple UAVs Launched Into Israel
Al-Qassam Brigades say three sorties of Iran-made Ababil-1s flown from Gaza; Patriot missile intercepts one drone.
A Patriot missile defense battery executed its first interception since the early 1990s on Monday morning when it felled an unmanned aerial vehicle, launched by Hamas, over the skies of Ashdod.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the attempted attack and claimed that its members launched several UAVs from Gaza. Palestinian sources close to Hamas said “the aerial vehicles penetrated deep into Israel, more than 60 km away from Gaza.”
A statement released by Hamas’ military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, said the UAVs that penetrated Israeli airspace were of the Ababil-1 variety, an Iranian-made model. The statement claimed Hamas engineers developed three variants of the UAV – for reconnaissance, aerial bombing, and suicide missions.
Hamas claimed several UAVs took part in each wave of infiltration attempts.
The military wing admitted that they lost “contact with one of the aerial vehicles in the second sortie and another vehicle in the third sortie.” One UAV was intercepted over the skies of Ashdod, but Hamas claimed its fleet had already captured footage of Tel Aviv: “We executed a number of maneuvers over the Kirya in Tel Aviv.”
It is unclear whether the footage of Tel Aviv was filmed today or in the past.
Hamas launched an unmanned aerial vehicle towards southern Israel on Monday morning from the Gaza Strip, as militants continued to fire rockets on Israeli cities and towns. The latest weapon in the arsenal of the Gaza-based terrorist organization was intercepted by a Patriot missile defense battery deployed in central Israel.
Israeli Navy forces were deployed to search the area. The UAV infiltration attempt caused Code Red sirens to blare in the Ashdod area, though incoming rocket salvos meant the alarm continued ringing for over two hours. Code Red was sounded in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Netivot, Hof Ashkelon, and Sdot Negev Regional Council.
One rocket exploded near a home in Hof Ashkelon. No injuries were reported but damage was reported.
On Sunday afternoon, Hamas struck terror further into the heart of Israel than ever before, when it fired a rocket that hit near Haifa – some 150km from the Gaza Strip. Earlier in the day, a 16-year-old boy sustained serious injuries and a 50-year-old man was lightly injured by a rocket blast in Ashkelon.
Hamas also claimed responsibility for the rocket fire on the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, saying it launched a Fajr-5 rocket at Rishon LeZion, three M-75 rockets at Tel Aviv and one R-160 rocket.