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Small Israeli drone crashes in southern Gaza, says army

In year’s third such incident, IDF investigates what caused Skylark-model UAV to fall out of the sky; Hamas says it has device

A soldier training with the man-portable and hand-launched skylark mini UAV (Photo credit: Courtesy: Cpl. Zev Marmorstein/ IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
A soldier training with the man-portable and hand-launched skylark mini UAV (Photo credit: Courtesy: Cpl. Zev Marmorstein/ IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

A small Israeli drone crashed in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday, the army said, in the third such incident this year.

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

The drone, a Skylark model, fell out of the sky in southern Gaza for as-yet unknown reasons. “The incident is being investigated,” a spokesperson said early Tuesday.

The terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said it retrieved the drone near the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, according to a Walla News report.

In March, a drone of the same model was on a reconnaissance mission when it crashed in the northern part of the Palestinian enclave.

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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