AN IAF F-15 takes off from the Uvda Air Force Base in southern Israel..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israel Air Force fighter jet shot down a Hamas drone over the Gazan coastline shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
The IDF Spokesperson said the drone had been under full surveillance from the moment it took off, and that it did not cross into or fly through Israeli air space.
"The IDF will not permit any violation of its air space, and will act with determination against any such effort," the army stated.
In recent years, Hamas drones have, on occasion come near, and sometimes breached Israeli airspace, leading the IDF to scramble jets or fire missiles.In June 2015
, a drone from Gaza crashed in Israeli territory near the border fence with Israel. The drone crashed on its own before the IDF had reason to engage it, landing on the Israeli side of the border.
In February this year, Crossings Authority inspectors together with the Shin Bet intelligence agency recently foiled an attempt to smuggle commercial multicopter drones into Gaza.
The drones were earmarked for use by "terrorist elements in Gaza" to gather intelligence on IDF movements, the Authority said.During the summer 2014 conflict with Hamas
, a drone that took off from Gaza breached Israeli airspace, and the IAF shot it down over Ashdod with a Patriot surface to air missile.
In April 2015, Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya, told The Jerusalem Post
that Hamas produces its own drones, including some that have rockets on their wings.
“They are using knowledge, likely from Iran, to self-manufacture,” Inbar said. Hezbollah, by contrast, relies on weapons smuggling from Iran exclusively for its drone fleet.