News / Middle East

    Questions Remain About Hamas Drone

    File - A Patriot missile during launch.
    File - A Patriot missile during launch.

    Related Articles

    Thousands Flee Gaza Homes Under Israel Threat

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said rocket fire by Hamas militants into Israel goes against international law, while 'too many Palestinians have been killed' by Israeli airstrikes

    Photogallery Israeli Security Cabinet to Meet Tuesday on Truce Proposal

    PM Netanyahu to convene cabinet to discuss Egyptian initiative seen as most serious attempt yet by international mediators to end week-long conflict

    There are still more questions than answers regarding a drone Israel claims to have shot down.

    According to the Israeli Defence Forces Twitter account, “An aerial drone from Gaza infiltrated Israel a short time ago. IDF forces shot it down with a Patriot missile above Ashdod.”

    An Israeli army spokesman told the New York Times that the drone had been “shot to smithereens” and that naval forces were looking for remnants along the coast.

    While it is unclear if the drone was armed or merely for surveillance, it is believed to be the first case of a drone entering Israeli airspace from Gaza, which sits at Israel's southern border.

    In 2012, Israel destroyed a drone factory in Gaza, and there have been reports of Hezbollah drones entering Israeli airspace from the north in recent years.

    After the alleged shootdown, Hamas' Al Qassam Brigades took to Twitter to tout its drone capabilities, posting pictures and a video of what it said were its drones in flight. The authenticity of the postings could not be verified.

    The group said its drones could carry out three kinds of missions: reconnaissance, bombing or simply crash into something.

    Aviation blogger David Cenciotti said in a blog post that the drones in the Hamas pictures appeared to be of an Iranian-made Ababil 1.

    “The aircraft depicted in the footage released by Hamas carries four AGMs [Air-to-Ground Missiles] even though it is almost impossible to say whether they are real weapons or just mock ups,” he wrote. “In fact, the group claimed on Twitter that the A1B carried out three missions over Israeli military bases and a specific mission over the Israeli war ministry but the fact the drone didn’t use any of the on board weaponry seems to suggest it does not have a real capability to use it.”

    He added that it was “quite surprising” to see a Ababil 1  flying “almost undisturbed” over Gaza.

    “It is weird such a small [drone] does carry weapons and surveillance sensors: all things that imply a significant payload and require larger airframes, more robust wings and engineering capabilities not believed to be in Hamas possession until today,” he wrote.

    A Pentagon spokesman did not answer questions about the incident, saying they don’t discuss intelligence matters. An NSA spokesperson referred questions about the incident to the Israeli government.

    Here is the video released by Hamas, which it says shows a drone in flight:

    Additional reporting by VOA's Jeff Seldin and Mary Alice Salinas

     

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 16, 2014 8:54 PM
    The terrorist org Hamas, is using Iranian made/designed drones, various types of long range, Iranian made rockets, it gets Iranian financial support, it gets Iranian training support, in essence it is an Iranian proxy force. The military equipment used by Hamas clearly demonstrates, that Iran continues to support terrorist organizations.
    There was a serious incident in Damascus, in which Pro Sunni Palestinians demonstrated against Assad, and the Hamas faction attacked them, the Hamas faction coperated with Assad thugs to very much wipe out the anti Assad demonstrators, the incident created an outflow of pro Sunni Palestinians from Damascus.
    The Egyptian gvmt, was forced to seal off its Gaza border, because of Hamas' support for terrorists in the Sinai, all the way into Cairo and into Suez city.
    Normal Palestinians are being forbiden, by Hamas, to take shelter as Hamas fires rockets into Israel from near/by their homes. In many of the pictures posted by the press, wide angle views, you can see Hamas' rockets rising between civilian apartment type of buildings.
    Hamas started the war, refused the ceasefire arranged by Egypt, Israel had accepted the ceasefire and implemented it for about 5 hrs; Hamas took the opportunity to fire massive salvos of rockets into Israeli cities. It is a no win situation for the normal Gaza Palestinians in this destructive conflict, that their local leadership started, and does not want to end.
    The situation for Israeli civilians is just as bad, but fortunately they have their rocket defence system and hardened shelters, otherwise Israel would have suffered massive casualties, due to the totally indiscriminate bombardment of Israeli cities.
    This situation between Gaza/Israel once again shows how extended and intrusive are the destabilizing activities of the Iranian leadership; in my opinion, Iran may have even ordered? Hamas to start attacking Israel, so as to distract the West from the ongoing nuclear negotiations, to achieve an extension. The entire sit is very destabilizing.

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    July 14, 2014 9:52 PM
    Confirm if the Drones were made and supplied by Iran and if indeed supplied by the Iranians then Israel should attack Iran indirectly because iran has attacked Israel indirectly or create a proxy war by creating, training and equipping Iran's rival anywhere in the world.

    by: Jack Attack from: Washington DC
    July 14, 2014 5:03 PM
    Iranian drones and long range missiles fired by terrorists of Hamas into a tier one ally of the United States. Why are we negotiating with Iran? How well did sanctions and negotiations work with North Korea? Hope is not a plan, find your fangs and take charge!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.