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VIDEO: Hamas claims to seize Israeli drone and put it to use

Video released by military wing of Hamas claims to show capture and reprogramming of state-of-the-art surveillance drone
A still from the video appears to show a Qassam Brigades fighter holding the reassembled drone (YouTube)

The military wing of Hamas claims to have captured an Israeli drone and put it into service, in what the group called a “fresh triumph for the jihadi youth”.

The Qassam Brigades released a video on Wednesday claiming to show an Israeli drone being stripped, reassembled and restarted by one of the group’s fighters.

In its statement, the brigades called on Palestinian youth to “join up and play their role in the liberation project” alongside the group, which “realises successes in spite of restrictions”.

The footage, set to tense string music, appears to show a miniature Skylark 1 drone, manufactured by Israeli military hardware company Elbit Systems.

A man wearing combat fatigues is seen stripping down and reassembling what appears to be a drone which is never shown in flight.

According to the company’s website, Skylark 1 is used for reconnaissance, and sends real-time video of surveillance sites to a portable ground station.

The device, which weighs around 7.5 kg, is also able to track fixed and moving targets during missions, which can last up to three hours.

The Israeli army said in 2009 that it had bought up to 100 of the drones for around $40mn, as part of its “Sky Raider” tender.

The Qassam Brigades gave no explanation as to how the drone apparently fell into the group’s hands on 22 July.

The Israeli military has said it is not aware that Hamas has taken control of any drones, or that any of its unmanned aerial vehicles have fallen in Gaza.

Israeli authorities have previously refused to comment on reports of drone crashes, most recently on 11 July when one of their vehicles reportedly crashed into the sea off Lebanon, making it the third drone to come down in two weeks.

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