Israeli drone crashes in Gaza after failed rocket launch

Israeli drone crashes in Gaza after failed rocket launch
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the crash, saying that it occurred during 'routine activity.'
2 min read
29 April, 2021
The Israeli drone crash follows Tuesday's failed rocket launch from Gaza [AFP/Getty-file photo]

An Israeli drone crashed in Gaza's north during what the military on Wednesday called "routine activity".

The Anadolu Agency reported that the incident was verified by Avichay Adraee, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman, on Twitter.

Adraee said there were "no concerns of leaked information" arising from the loss.

An anonymous insider from one of Gaza's armed factions told Anadolu that his group had seized the drone.

The Israeli military raised the alert status in areas near the besieged Palestinian enclave, The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister television channel, Al-Araby TV, reported on Thursday morning.

Al-Araby TV added that the alert was also increased in the West Bank, preceding Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' expected Thursday-evening speech on the elections.

Read more: Israel's demographic battle for Jerusalem leaves Palestinians struggling to survive

It has been widely reported in recent days that the upcoming Palestinian elections will be cancelled due to Israel's refusal to permit voting in East Jerusalem.

Some have questioned whether this gives Israel an effective veto over Palestinian elections.

The drone crash and ramped up alert status follows the failed launch of two rockets from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night, reported by Haaretz.

The Israeli daily said the missiles fell within Gaza, despite rocket alert sirens being activated at a nearby Israeli kibbutz in the Negev desert.

The failed launch came amid the Israeli security cabinet's approval, given ahead of time on Monday, for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Benny Gantz to command a strike in Gaza in response to rocket fire.

Insiders reportedly told Haaretz a "full-blown military operation" was not under consideration, but that Israel wants to escalate its use of force should rocket fire continue.

Tensions are also running high in occupied East Jerusalem, where Israeli extremists and police have attacked Palestinians.

The Israeli government also announced on Monday that Gaza’s waters would be shut to fishing boats.

Past restrictions on the strip's fishing industry were described to Al Jazeera as "illegal collective punishment" by Israeli human rights group Gisha‘s Miriam Marmur at the time.

However, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday that fishing access would be resumed, through a statement by COGAT, the military body that controls Palestinian civilian activities in the Occupied Territories.

The statement warned this was "conditional upon continued calm and security stability", with the threat of further collective punishment actions continuing.

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