On Friday, it was reported by the Times of Israel that Palestinian Authority security forces recently uncovered a Hamas terror cell that was “plotting to launch unmanned aerial vehicles laden with explosives at Israel.” From the Times of Israel:
During intensive activities near Hebron, in which PA security authorities arrested Hamas activists at the city’s university, officers uncovered a terrorist network in the advanced stages of planning to launch a UAV into Israel. Multiple suspects were arrested and the plot was foiled.
Investigation of the cell found that Hamas operatives had already run several test flights on the drone, and had intended to attach explosives to it in order to strike targets in Israel.
Israeli defense officials confirmed the report and noted that the PA security forces had recently chalked up other unspecified impressive achievements in their fight against terrorist groups operating in the West Bank.
Despite the article’s claim that Israeli officials had confirmed the report, an IDF spokesperson would not confirm it when asked by The Long War Journal. “Clearly this is a Palestinian lead [sic] operation I therefore suggest you convey your inquiry to the Palestinian security services,” the spokesperson said.
During Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012, Hamas’ UAV infrastructure in Gaza was targeted by the IDF. The Israeli Air Force “inflicted severe damage to Hamas’ UAV infrastructure,” the IDF said at the time.