Small Israeli drone crashes in northern Gaza — army
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Small Israeli drone crashes in northern Gaza — army

IDF investigating what caused Skylark-model UAV to fall out of the sky, in year’s second such incident

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

An Israeli soldier holds a Skylark drone during the search for three Jewish teenagers near Hebron, in the West Bank, June 14, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli soldier holds a Skylark drone during the search for three Jewish teenagers near Hebron, in the West Bank, June 14, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A small Israeli military drone crashed in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday afternoon, the army said.

The drone, a Skylark model, was on a reconnaissance mission when it fell out of the sky east of Gaza City for as-yet unknown reasons.

“The incident is being investigated,” a spokesperson said.

There did not appear to be a risk that classified information could be retrieved from the device.

It was the second time this year that an Israel Defense Forces Skylark drone crashed.

In January, a Skylark drone crashed in southern Lebanon, prompting a mad dash by Israeli forces to recover the aircraft. The next day, the Hezbollah terrorist group reported that it had retrieved pieces of the destroyed drone.

The “sky rider,” as it’s known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone created by Elbit Systems and operated by the IDF’s Artillery Corps. The miniature UAV can be launched by one or two people, depending on the model, and once airborne provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.

In August 2015, Hamas claimed it captured an Israeli Skylark drone in the Gaza Strip and reassembled it.

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