An unmanned aircraft launched from the Gaza Strip was shot down by Israel as it penetrated Israeli airspace on Monday morning over the coast near Ashdod.

The drone set off air raid sirens in the city before it was downed by a Patriot surface-to-air missile launched from a location near the center of the country.

Naval forces were searching the sea off the coast to try and locate the wreckage of the drone.

The aircraft may have been launched by Hamas, which is known to have obtained small drones.

Military sources said that although the aircraft could likely only carry a relatively small explosives payload — less than the rockets fired from Gaza — it could still cause damage or injury.

Hamas officials were later quoted saying they had dispatched the drone, and threatening to send more.

Over a dozen rockets were fired at towns in southern Israel early Monday morning.

The army said Monday morning that Israeli jets had bombed more than 40 “terror targets” overnight, leading into the seventh day of Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza.