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Palestinian fighters shoot down Israeli spy drone: Report

This file photo shows an Israeli military’s Heron unmanned reconnaissance drone in flight. ©AP

Palestinian resistance fighters have reportedly shot down an Israeli reconnaissance drone on a mission over the northeastern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Palestinian fighters targeted the unmanned aerial vehicle late on Saturday as it was flying over the city of Beit Hanoun, Arabic-language Palestine al-Aan news agency reported.

Israeli military officials, however, dismissed the reports, asserting that they had not lost any unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Israeli military frequently uses drones over the Gaza Strip either to monitor and photograph Palestinian military units in the blockaded enclave, or launch aerial attacks against preplanned fixed targets.

The Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, which is the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, reported on September 20, 2015 that its members had seized an Israeli drone, which had gone down in an area on the outskirts of Beit Lahia city in northern Gaza.

Back in July that year, Hamas announced that another drone had crashed in northern Gaza, adding that the movement’s fighters had managed to recover pieces of the unmanned aerial vehicle and assemble it.

Israel launched its latest war on the Gaza Strip in early July 2014.

The 50-day military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children. Over 11,100 others — including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people — were also wounded in the war.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

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