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Jets scrambled after Hamas launches drone over Gaza

Rockets, naval commandos and senior leaders feature at Islamists’ anniversary demo; video claims to show targeted armed wing head Deif

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

  • Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, take part in a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)
    Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, take part in a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/Mahmud Hams)
  • Illustrative: A drone belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, flies over Gaza City on December 14, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
    Illustrative: A drone belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, flies over Gaza City on December 14, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
  • Gaza Hamas leaders Ismail Haniya, center, and Mousa Abu Marzouq, right, brandish a weapon as they greet supporters during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
    Gaza Hamas leaders Ismail Haniya, center, and Mousa Abu Marzouq, right, brandish a weapon as they greet supporters during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
  • Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, show rappelling skills during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
    Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, show rappelling skills during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
  • Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, display a drone during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
    Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, display a drone during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)
  • Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, display weapons during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)
    Members of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's armed wing, display weapons during a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/MAHMUD HAMS)

Hamas’s military wing on Sunday launched a locally manufactured drone at a Gaza City march in honor of the founding of the group, prompting the Israel Air Force to raise its alertness level.

The drone activity led the air force to summon jets to the area, but no shots were fired at the unmanned aircraft, Channel 2 reported.

The drone demonstration was held at the terror group’s 27th anniversary march, with thousands in attendance, including senior members, as the Gaza terror group ramped up its rhetoric against Israel.

The protest also featured a rare appearance by members of the Hamas naval commando unit. Weapons were on display, including R-160 rockets of the sort fired at Haifa during the summer’s Operation Protective Edge, and another drone which the terror group said was an IDF craft grounded during the 50-day conflict.

Palestinian divers from the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, take part in a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/ MAHMUD HAMS)
Palestinian divers from the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ armed wing, take part in a parade marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movement’s creation on December 14, 2014 in Gaza City. (photo credit: AFP/ MAHMUD HAMS)

Earlier, the terror group released a video which they said showed Muhammed Deif, a Hamas military leader targeted by the IDF over the summer and whose condition is unknown. Hamas has maintained that terror chief Deif survived the August 19 assassination attempt, in which his wife and child were killed.

In the new footage, a silhouette is shown, which the terror group said is Deif, but the audio is drawn from a November 2012 clip, Channel 2 reported.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=832805306761926&permPage=1

Speaking at the rally, a Hamas official threatened that a “moment of explosion” was near.

“We warn of the moment of explosion which won’t be in the interest of the occupation,” a spokesman for the military wing, Abu Ubayda, said at the rally, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. He also turned to the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons and said: “The day you will see the light of freedom has become closer than any point in the past.”

http://youtu.be/9-okB4RCcVA

The terror group also fired rockets into the sea as part of a drill, the fifth such incident in the past few days, according to Channel 10.

In a separate Gaza Strip protest on Friday, members of the terror group burned a life-sized stuffed model of an ultra-Orthodox Jew over a number of coffin-like structures bearing the faces of the four victims of the Har Nof synagogue attack. A paper replica of the Temple was burned in the same blaze as well.

A Hamas protest in the Gaza Strip on December 12, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
A Hamas protest in the Gaza Strip on December 12, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

On Saturday night, Hamas posted footage from another attack in Israeli territory during the summer’s fighting in Gaza, claiming the clip was obtained by hacking into IDF computers.

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