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IDF Downs Drone over Gaza Strip

May 20, 2022

by: Kate Norman

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Iron Dome battery in southern Israel

Friday, 20 May 2022 | The Israeli military downed a “suspicious aircraft” flying over the Gaza Strip yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported.

“The aircraft did not cross into Israeli territory and was monitored throughout the incident,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system was deployed to intercept the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in southern Gaza, Israel’s Channel 13 reported, publishing cell phone footage of smoke in the sky after the incident.

The IDF did not credit any of Gaza’s terror groups for the drone.

Channel 13, however, postulated that the incident could have been in response to Israel’s approval yesterday of the planned flag march to take place in Jerusalem in celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) on May 29. The holiday celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem during the defensive Six Day War of 1967, when Israel regained access to all of Jerusalem.

The Israeli news channel cited Lebanon-based, Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV, which quoted unnamed sources who boasted that “the resistance today sent a message to the Israeli enemy that it will not allow the flag march to pass through the route that it decided on.”

The march has been tentatively approved (though it still needs final approval from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett) to pass through Damascus Gate—the main entrance into the Muslim Quarter of the Old City—and through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City on its way to the Western Wall.

The route was redirected last year just an hour beforehand amid severe tensions, though the march was ultimately used as an excuse by terrorists in Gaza to fire rockets into Israel. Gaza fired rockets at Jerusalem for the first time since the 2014 Gaza War, sparking the volatile 11-day Operation Guardian of the Walls in which more than 4,300 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza.

Yesterday’s drone incident came hours after the Israeli military launched Iron Dome batteries toward an Israeli UAV after misidentifying it as a possible Lebanese aircraft attempting to infiltrate Israel.

The Iron Dome batteries reportedly missed the UAV, but the incident caused rocket alert sirens to go off in Israeli communities near the border with Lebanon.

Posted on May 20, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 20, 2022)

Photo Credit: Michael Shvadron/Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

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