Did Hamas UAV Capabilities Force Israeli Action?
By Chris on November 21, 2012
We highlighted the operation of drones by Hezbollah as a signal of more sophisticated threat capability even as Israel effectively destroyed the drone launched from Lebanon in early October. But as the conflict deepens between Gaza and Israel, we can look back to see that the recent events escalated after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened:
“…of more UAV’s over Israel… He implied that Tehran or Hizballah might ask Hamas to release them over Israel, possibly in coordination with UAV intrusions from Lebanon.”
Was the maturation of Hamas drone capabilities a driving factor behind the level of Israel’s military response in this ongoing war?
Key points from the above interactive timeline that you can explore:
- October 11 – In addition to threats from Hassan Nasrallah, reports out of Israeli intelligence suggested “unusual Hamas activity of late to camouflage certain sites in the Gaza Strip, raising the suspicion that Hamas or the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami had taken delivery of a drone, drones or the disassembled components thereof…”
- November 15 – Hamas claims to have captured a downed Israeli surveillance drone.
- November 16 – The Israeli Defense Forces released video of a Hamas drone exercise with reported range to Tel Aviv, but reports that the entire Iran-sponsored Hamas UAV program was destroyed by air strikes.
Did the sophistication of Hamas drone capabilities hasten the IDF action? Or was the elimination of UAV operations in Gaza a strategic, high profile hit against technology hard earned by Hamas for use as leverage in cease fire negotiations? Leave us your thoughts below.