Hamas Drone Visited IDF Headquarters

Special effects enhance the experience of watching a movie. One hundred years ago, the staff may have sprinkled water on the spectators while rain was shown on the silver screen. On July 14, 2014, I experienced a more sophisticated special effect. While preparing an article on a Hamas drone that carries tiny missiles and reached the IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv, I got a live warning of a missile attack on Israel; a red bar hurriedly occupied the bottom of screen with the details.

IDF Headquarters Building, Kirya, Tel Aviv

IDF Headquarters Building, Kirya, Tel Aviv
Dust in Wind, Kansas

The time stamp was correct, but the warning missed wildly my physical coordinates. Across the world, the scary effect was lost. The virtual water sprinkled on me evaporated before touching target. One hundred years from now it will be funny.

IDF Home Front Command Bar

Screen snapshot, the red bar that appeared suddenly was a broadcast of the IDF Home Front Command announcing approaching missiles.

Its compactness indicated that the source was military. Civilians would have placed ads. It reads “Home Front Command Warning in the Space:” after it is the time stamp, and the name of the relevant military district. In this case, it begins with “Dan,” Gush Dan (Dan Block), Tel Aviv’s metropolitan area, followed by a numeric code of the specific site about to be hit. In the bar shown above there are four warnings.

People are supposed to know the code of their neighborhood or town. A Hebrew table can be found easily on the web. It contains also the time that denizens have to reach a protected space or shelter. Certain locations are allotted a few seconds, most have ninety seconds, a few have three minutes.

Amused, I abandoned the distraction and returned to more pressing issues. Unlike dizzying gases, missiles were unlikely to land on a Bolivian internet kiosk.

Yesterday, missiles from Sinai had landed in Israel, today Lebanon had matched the event. Interesting, but it did not compare to the main topic of the day.

I got not even one minute of unmolested work. At 5PM sharp, Jerusalem time, I was interrupted by a new red bar. This time it announced “round-hour check.” I wanted to answer the inquiry, but they had provided no address.

Missile Attack in Southern Israel

Missile Attack in Southern Israel, July 14

Offensive Swallows

Swallows, also known as martins, are migrating birds. In the Holy Land they are known to be the spring announcers, since they are the first to arrive from Africa in their way back to Europe; in Hebrew, “spring announcing swallow” is a euphemism for an early announcement of a dramatic event.


National Geographic Field Guide

In the Middle East, spring is not a good season. It is when sand storms arrive from the deep desert. In Hebrew the bird is called “snunit” and in Arabic “ababil,” name adopted for drones designed originally by Iran and in use by Hezbollah. The drone disclosed now by Hamas is also called “ababil,” though it is at least partially developed in Gaza. An early swallow announcing the future Palestinian Aerospace Industry.

After I got rid of the alarming red bar, I could dedicate time to the reports on Palestinian swallows touring Israel.

Due to the military characteristics of the event, I am compiling here Israeli and Palestinian sources that slightly differ on what happened.

Palestinian UAV

Palestinian UAV in Ashdod in the Patriot crosshairs
Dust in Wind, Kansas

Three Palestinian UAVs entered Israeli airspace from Gaza. They were not detected by Israeli air defenses.

One of them stayed for a long period over the Port of Ashdod. Passersby wondered at the noisy sight for several hours until one of them realized that the IDF was unlikely to be behind the odd event and called the emergency number.

An American Patriot missile hit the drone. The American missiles are placed in Israel since the Gulf War. In recent years, they are used as backup systems in trials of the Israeli Arrow antimissiles.

It is unclear who operated the missile that hit the drone. Obama knows.

Palestinian UAV in Ashdod hit by Patriot

Palestinian UAV in Ashdod hit by Patriot
Dust in Wind, Kansas

The second drone disappeared, according to Palestinians and never existed according to Israelis. This indicates a malfunction before it was detected.

The third one is not acknowledged by Israel, but it is celebrated by Hamas. It apparently returned home after having toured the Kirya(The Town), the area in Tel Aviv where the Ministry of Defense and the IDF General Headquarters are.

This time, the tiny missiles carried by the drone were not checked.

Palestinian Ababil

Palestinian Ababil UAV flying over Israel as reported by Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza. The report is accepted as real by all Israeli sources.

Mr. Roi Tov is one of the frequent contributors for The 4th Media News.


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