The IDF has refused to officially comment on reports that Palestinian terrorists fired a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile at an IAF helicopter over Gaza last week.

According to the report, which appeared in Yediot Aharonot on Tuesday, the missile – identified as the low-altitude Strela SA-7 – missed its target. It was the first known attempt to bring down an IAF craft using advanced missiles in Gaza.

“Certainly, the threat of anti-aircraft missiles is a serious worry, but it won’t disrupt the air force’s activities over Gaza,” terrorism expert Yoram Schweitzer, of the Institute for National Security Studies, told The Jerusalem Post.

Schweitzer, who has served as consultant on counterterror strategies to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry, noted that the period of instability rocking the Middle East has allowed terrorists to smuggle strategic weapons into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.

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