IDF spy drone crashes in Gaza area, prompting search
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IDF spy drone crashes in Gaza area, prompting search

Army officials believe Skylark reconnaissance UAV fell in Israeli territory, in eighth such incident in two years

Illustrative: An IDF soldier from the Artillery Corps launches an Elbit Skylark drone, known in the IDF as a Sky Rider, on January 21, 2013. (Cpl. Zev Marmorstein/Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: An IDF soldier from the Artillery Corps launches an Elbit Skylark drone, known in the IDF as a Sky Rider, on January 21, 2013. (Cpl. Zev Marmorstein/Israel Defense Forces)

A drone operated by the Israel Defense Forces crashed Tuesday in the area of the northern Gaza Strip, with a military spokesperson saying it is believed to have fallen inside Israeli territory.

The military was conducting widespread searches for the Skylark reconnaissance drone, the spokesperson said.

A similar incident occurred in June, when a miniature UAV crashed in Syrian territory.

The army said, as it commonly has after similar past incidents, that there is no risk of sensitive information on the drone being compromised, since footage captured by it is transmitted but not stored on it.

Since January 2017, Skylarks have crashed at least eight times, including Tuesday’s incident, and another was shot down while in operational service.

In September 2017 the army launched an investigation after two Skylark drones crashed in the West Bank.

The “sky rider,” as it is known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone created by Israel’s Elbit Systems and operated by the 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.

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