The Israel Defense Forces Spokesman's Office released a filmed documentation of an unmanned aerial vehicle test flight conducted by Hamas on Friday.
This week, the IDF attacked a storehouse of this type of aircraft, which according to Hamas estimations, was likely to be used in the very near future.
- Rocket hits TA; Attacks on south persist
- Hamas fires first rockets at Jerusalem
Home Front Command: Prepare for 7 weeks of fighting
The IDF attacked a Hamas UAV depository on Wednesday night. IDF sources said that one of Hamas' most significant, strategic capabilities was destroyed following an extended period in which the Military Intelligence Directorate followed the Hamas' attempts to develop this.
Video released by IDF
The aircraft developers, like the one filmed in this clip, acquired the development and operation know-how in Iran and Syria, and Hamas invested greatly in this endeavor. The destroyed UAVs could have reached a distance of tens of kilometers from the Gaza Strip, including up to Greater Tel Aviv and north of it; covering the entire Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
The destroyed UAVs were in advanced development stages and capable of accurate attacks if equipped. They can also be used to gather high-level intelligence. The IDF called the success of this attack on the aircraft storehouse, one of Operation Pillar of Defense's most significant achievements and surprises. Eight UAV development and storage facilities were destroyed during the attacks.
Hamas invested great efforts and resources in the development of these aircrafts and called this capability a top objective. The Hamas recently conducted a test flight for one of the UAVs in an abandoned landing-field in the Gaza Strip.
This is a painful intelligence-related blow to Hamas and the security establishment estimates that had the UAV not been destroyed, Hamas would have likely used it against Israel, even as a Saturday night.
The army said that this would not be the IDF's last surprise in Operation Pillars of Defense, and that additional achievements and attacks were expected.