Israel Shoots Down Drone Launched From Gaza

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Israel’s military said Monday it had downed a drone along its southern coastline, marking the first time it had encountered such a weapon in its week-long campaign against Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip.

The drone came from Gaza and was shot down by a Patriot surface-to-air missile near the southern city of Ashdod, the military said. It did not say what the drone was carrying and there was no immediate confirmation from Gaza on the use of unmanned aircraft.

Also Monday, two new Israeli airstrikes killed four more Palestinians in the coastal strip, in the southern city of Khan Younis, according to officials from the city’s European Hospital.

The officials said Saddam Moamar, his wife Hanadai, and his father Mousa were killed by an airstrike that hit their house. Their neighbor, Maher Abu Mor, was killed in another airstrike while standing on the rooftop of his home, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media. It was not immediately clear why their homes were targeted.

Israel began its campaign against militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza last Tuesday, saying it was responding to heavy rocket fire from the densely populated territory.

The fighting began after three teenaged Israeli boys were kidnapped and found dead in the West Bank on June 30. Hamas did not claim responsibility for the murders but praised them. Days later, a Palestinian teenager was found dead, sparking days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel.



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