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Israel shoots down second Hamas drone

JTA

July 17, 2014 | 1:29 pm

Israel shot down an unmanned drone that entered Israel’s airspace via the Mediterranean Sea.

The aerial vehicle was intercepted Thursday night over Ashkelon by a Patriot missile battery.

It was the second drone sent from Gaza since the start of Operation Defensive Edge; the first, on Monday, also was intercepted by a Patriot missile.

Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for both drones. Hamas reportedly said the drone was headed to attack a target deep in Israel.

Also Thursday, Gaza terror groups fired more than 100 rockets at southern and central Israel in the hours following the end of the humanitarian cease-fire. Israeli tanks, artillery, ships and planes began striking Gaza targets with more intensity. Israel later launched a ground invasion.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces said earlier Thursday that it had dropped leaflets in 14 Gaza communities urging residents to temporarily leave their homes and offering instructions on where to go that would be safe. The leaflets indicated that the IDF was planning to expand its Gaza operation.

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