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Israel Says Iron Dome Downed Hamas Drone From Gaza

Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted a drone on Monday launched from Gaza by the Palestinian territory’s Hamas Islamist rulers, the army said.

“A short while ago, a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) belonging to the Hamas terror organization approached the Gaza maritime zone and was intercepted,” it said in a statement.

Israel’s army has previously downed Hamas drones, including during an 11-day conflict in May.

It has frequently responded to apparently hostile Hamas actions with air strikes targeting Islamist sites in the Gaza Strip. But tensions, which surged during the May fighting, have calmed in past weeks.

Israel — which has enforced a crippling blockade on Gaza since 2007, the year Hamas took power — has allowed financial aid from Qatar to again be distributed in Gaza.

It has also increased the number of work permits for Gazans to enter Israel and allowed more construction material to enter the strip, part of a series of measures aimed at maintaining a fragile calm.

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