JERUSALEM — Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said on Monday that it had built and flown three types of unmanned aircraft against Israel, all variants of the Ababil-1, an Iranian-made drone. It said two of the drones were armed for attacks and one was intended for reconnaissance.
Hamas’s military wing published a photographthat it says shows one of its drones. The image gives no direct indication of how big the aircraft is, what its capabilities are, where it came from or where or when the photo was taken. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the Iranian-made Ababil-1 is nine and a half feet long, with a range of about 150 miles, and is able to carry up to 88 pounds of payload, such as explosives or camera equipment.
The group also claimed on its website that it had mounted three drone sorties of at least two aircraft each over Israel on Monday, including one it said had hovered over the Tel Aviv headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces. A spokesman for the I.D.F. said that while he could not rule out other drone flights, he was not aware of any sortie over Tel Aviv.
Israel has been talking about a threat of attacks by unmanned aircraft for several years. Compared with the rockets that militant groups typically fire into Israel, drones like the Ababil-1 are potentially capable of greater accuracy and more destructive power, but they also tend to be more susceptible to standard air defenses.
In October 2012, the Israeli military said it had shot down a drone over the Negev desert in southern Israel, near Gaza, and was hunting for the wreckage. It did not say where the aircraft had come from.
The following month, the military said it had “inflicted severe damage” on Hamas’s drone program with an airstrike. It published a video clip that it said showed a drone being tested on an airstrip in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and then being stored in a warehouse. The video could not be independently verified.
Hezbollah, the radical Shiite group in Lebanon, is also believed to have tried using Ababil-1 drones against Israel. The I.D.F. said in April 2013 that it had shot down a drone over the Mediterranean near Haifa that was trying to enter Israeli airspace.
Disalin dari: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/world/middleeast/hamas-publishes-photo-of-a-drone-it-says-it-built.html