Numerous isolated incidents over the past three months have pointed to a new wave of attacks being implemented by Hamas terrorists against Israel in the form of direct explosive drone attacks. Seemingly, Hamas is in the final stages of developing drones that can drop explosives at pinpoint locations that are seen by the drone’s cameras.
On the evening of May 13, an explosion was heard in one of the towns in the Gaza periphery. Residents who came out of their home to investigate found a pair of explosive devices with a small parachute on their lawn and couldn’t explain how it had arrived. One of the devices exploded, but didn’t cause any damage. Police sappers arrived at the town and gathered the device, but couldn’t explain how and where it came from.
Several days later, a similar device was found on the outskirts of the same town, and this time, security forces noticed a connection between the explosive devices and a drone being launched from the strip.
The incident occurred a third time when the drone crashed before making it back to the Strip. The IDF didn’t report to the public about these incidents at the time. However, Israeli media reported on Sunday, that the working assumption of the IDF Southern Command is that Hamas has the potential to launch drones that can drop explosives.
With the use of drones dropping explosives on specific targets Hamas can cause all sorts of damage and injuries to Israeli military and civilian targets.
The IDF categorizes the use of explosive drones as armed terrorism and believes that Hamas won’t use that tactic for the risk of creating an armed military conflict.
According to data from the Overland Crossings Authority at the Defense Ministry, in 2016, 110 complete drones and 51 drone parts were seized at Gaza border crossings. In 2017, 70 complete drones and 301 drone parts were seized. And in 2018 so far, 60 complete drones and 400 drone parts have been seized. Most of the equipment seized had been purchased online from companies like AliExpress to later be developed into explosive drones inside Gaza itself.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)