Gaza group claims it shot down IDF drone, but may have hit Islamic Jihad one
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Gaza group claims it shot down IDF drone, but may have hit Islamic Jihad one

PFLP says it downed Israeli UAV, but army denies knowledge and local sources say aircraft actually belonged to another Gaza terror organization

Masked Palestinian gunmen of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza City during a rally on September 2, 2014, to celebrate the Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)
Masked Palestinian gunmen of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza City during a rally on September 2, 2014, to celebrate the Egypt-mediated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)

A Gaza-based terror group on Saturday said it had downed an Israeli military drone over the Strip, but the small vehicle may have actually belonged to another terrorist organization.

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine initially announced it had taken down an “Israeli spy aircraft” — apparently referring to a small propellor-based drone.

An Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman then said she had no knowledge of such an incident.

And Haaretz, citing unnamed Gaza sources, later reported that the UAV was in fact operated by the Islamic Jihad, another Gaza terror group.

Illustrative: An Israeli drone in flight over Gaza (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The drone was downed near Khan Younis in the south of the Strip after being mistaken for an Israeli aircraft and had likely been supplied to Islamic Jihad by Iran, the report said.

Islamic Jihad was said to be investigating the incident alongside Hamas.

It was the second drone-downing incident in the Strip this week. On Tuesday the IDF had said one of its drones had fallen in Gaza overnight. Palestinian media reported that the drone was shot down and was seized by the Hamas terror group.

In a statement, the military said it was investigating the incident.

Hamas claimed it spotted the drone and shot it down with gunfire east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, the Shehab news agency reported. According to the report, the aircraft was apparently a copter-type drone.

On Monday the Hezbollah terror group claimed it shot down an IDF drone over southern Lebanon.

Palestinian members of the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad terror group, parade with a replica rocket on a truck during a march on Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The IDF confirmed that the drone fell inside Lebanese territory. Asked if the aircraft had been shot down or crashed due to a technical issue, an army spokesperson said, “It fell, as far as I know.”

In July an Israeli military reconnaissance drone crashed in the central Gaza Strip, reportedly after it was shot down by a Palestinian terror group.

Some of the IDF’s smaller drones crash with relative frequency, owing to their size and simple design. These are not to be confused with the larger, far more advanced plane-like UAVs used by the military.

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