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Israel's military downed a drone from Gaza, first drone encounter



BY PETER ENAV

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's military said it downed a drone along its southern coastline on Monday, the first time it encountered such a weapon since its campaign against the Gaza Strip militants began last week.

The drone came from Gaza and was shot down near the southern city of Ashdod, the military said. It did not say what the drone was carrying and there was no immediate confirmation from Gaza on the use of unmanned aircraft.

Since the latest bout of fighting began last Tuesday, militants have fired nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel, causing some injuries and damage to property, but no fatalities among Israelis. By contrast, 172 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel's air attacks.

But the use of drones with an offensive capacity could potentially inflict significant casualties - something the rockets from Gaza have failed to do, largely because of the success of the military's `Iron Dome' air defense system in shooting them down.

Israel Downs Drone Launched From Gaza

Israel began airstrikes Tuesday against militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in what it says was a response to heavy rocket fire out of the densely populated territory. The military says it has launched more than 1,300 airstrikes since then, while Palestinian militants have launched nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says 172 people have been killed, including dozens of civilians. There have been no Israeli fatalities, though several people have been wounded, including a teenage boy who was seriously injured by rocket shrapnel on Sunday.

The military said Monday's drone was launched from Gaza and was shot down in mid-flight by a Patriot surface-to-air missile in mid-flight near Ashdod.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the current Israeli operation could last for "a long time" and that the military was prepared "for all possibilities." That includes a wide-ranging Gaza ground operation, which would likely cause heavy casualties in the coastal strip.

But Netanyahu is coming under increasing international pressure to end the operation soon. On Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate cease-fire while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry voiced American "readiness" to help restore calm. Egypt, a key mediator between Israel and Hamas, continued to work behind the scenes to stop the conflict.

Hamas has sent signals it may be ready to consider a cease-fire but appears to be waiting for some tangible military or diplomatic achievement before moving ahead on that front. For his part, Netanyahu wants to show the Israeli public that he has succeeded in significantly degrading Hamas's ability to strike at its Israeli targets before moving ahead diplomatically.

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mickylitz2 July 14 2014 at 8:31 AM

it would be interesting to know where Hamas gets all those weapons ?
Iran ? maybe ? but I am beginning to have a bad feeling about this considering the transparency of this administration.

Flag Reply +99 rate up
31 replies
IBruzEZ July 14 2014 at 7:48 AM

Israel knows how to deal with terrorists shooting at them.... shoot back BIGGER. Go Israel.!

Flag Reply +99 rate up
10 replies
alamaden July 14 2014 at 8:45 AM

The Israeli's use missles to protect their people HP....the Hamas use People to protect their missles and you know it so start printing the truth you hacks!

Flag Reply +99 rate up
11 replies
vietnamvet1967 July 14 2014 at 6:56 AM

I guess we paid for the Drone with our tax payers money from out POTUS, who is a wimp, and his Clowns in Congress

Flag Reply +69 rate up
12 replies
Tommy July 14 2014 at 8:54 AM

I guess the US Military wasn't joking when they said the drone captured by the Iranians was practically worthless after all, since they have reverse engineered it and sent it to Gaza for testing.

Flag Reply +53 rate up
8 replies
stanley t. July 14 2014 at 9:07 AM

let's see now, we and the UN demand a seize fire with Israel. While nothing happens with the Terrorist take over in Iraq.

Flag Reply +41 rate up
4 replies
dssmalik July 14 2014 at 7:13 AM

Iron Dome and $4 billion dollars a year in foreign aid - Thank you U.S. taxpayers.

Flag Reply +30 rate up
14 replies
windyoak July 14 2014 at 4:44 AM

SAME SEAT...SAME PAGE...SAME BOOK
BLACKS IN AMERICA ASK...ARE YOU TREATING ME LIKE THAT BECAUSE I AM BLACK?.......ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT, BECAUSE I AM BLACK?......

as for Israel......ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT BECAUSE IT'S ISRAEL?.......ARE YOU AGAINST ME BECAUSE IT'S ISRAEL ? ARE YOU SIDING WITH WHOMEVER BECAUSE WE ARE ISRAELIS?...

Flag Reply +25 rate up
10 replies
drusus5845 July 14 2014 at 6:51 AM

I don't side with the fools who started this mess. Could it possibly be Iranians who kidnapped those three teenagers in Israel???? Need to continue the fight by the Islamists, Iran would do anything to keep this agitation going. maybe the Ayatollah is behind all this knowing that Netanyahu would fall for it. Just crank up the extremists in Israel, sacrifice the young, and let the blood flow.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
9 replies
artisan3m July 14 2014 at 8:47 AM

By all means, lets run right over there and get involved. Lets also get involved in Syria, re-engage in Iraq, launch a strike against Iran. Apparently history is not a very good teacher for some in alleged US leadership positions. We are intent on repeating it with highly predictable outcomes. If these people want to kill each other, our role should be preventing other outsider's from interfering.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
5 replies
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