Iron Dome intercepts Hamas drone flying over Gaza — IDF

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The Iron Dome air defense system shot down an unmanned aircraft belonging to the Hamas terror group flying over the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the IDF, the drone did not enter Israeli airspace, adding that the interceptor missiles were fired by the device while it was over Gaza.

“The drone did not pose a threat to civilians in the area around the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

Palestinian media reported a large explosion over the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Israel usually does not interfere when Hamas conducts drone test flights, except when they are flown out of the Strip. It was not immediately clear why it did so this time and the IDF did not provide an explanation.

The iron dome was first used operationally to intercept a Hamas drone last May, during an 11-day conflict with Palestinian terrorist groups in the Strip, known as Operation Guardian of the Walls in Israel. During the conflict, the Israeli drone system was also accidentally shot down.

Last May, the IDF shot down a drone over the Strip, and before that in November 2021, the IDF shot down a Hamas drone that was flown out to sea.

Last month, the IDF reportedly launched Iron Dome interceptor missiles by drone over the Gaza Strip. The military later walked back its claim that it intercepted the device, and said it was still unclear whether it was a drone or another aerial target that needed to be intercepted.

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