An Israeli airstrike killed three Gaza terrorists on Tuesday near an area where an unmanned Israeli surveillance aircraft crashed earlier in the day, a Gaza official said.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the IDF was responding to mortar fire that had just taken place toward Israel.
The Skylark drone experienced a technical malfunction and it was investigating what caused it to go down, the IDF said. Israel uses drones to gather intelligence on terrorist activity in Gaza.
Hamas members said they recovered the aircraft in southern Gaza and handed it over to security forces. A video was later released showing the fragments of the drone.
The Israeli army would not say whether the drone’s fall into Hamas’ hands could provide secrets or technology to the terrorists. The Skylark, however, is known to have safeguards to prevent disclosure of information to unauthorized personnel.
Shortly after the drone crashed, the Islamic Jihad movement said an Israeli airstrike struck the area, killing three members belonging to the group.