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IDF drone crashes in Nablus due to malfunction; armed faction captures it

Lion’s Den says members examining tiny aircraft that landed in Old City; military says no sensitive information compromised

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

An Israeli military drone that crashed in Nablus on October 14, 2022. (Courtesy: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An Israeli military drone that crashed in Nablus on October 14, 2022. (Courtesy: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An Israeli military drone crashed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, the Israel Defense Forces said.

An armed Palestinian group calling itself “Lion’s Den” said it had captured the quadcopter that crashed in the Old City of Nablus, publishing images of it taken apart.

The faction said its members were examining the device.

The group, based in Nablus, was established in recent months by members of various terror groups. Some of its members were apparently previously affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

It has claimed responsibility for numerous shooting attacks in the northern West Bank.

The IDF said the drone crashed due to a technical malfunction. No sensitive information was lost due to the crash and there was no risk of intelligence being taken from the device, the army said.

Small, off-the-shelf models used by the IDF for simple reconnaissance missions have previously crashed in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Such drones, which are relatively cheap, crash or are shot down at a frequency of once every few months.

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