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UAE’s Gaza drone bid denied by Israel; UK launches aerial surveillance

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Smoke from an explosion rises in Gaza, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas expired, as seen from southern Israel, December 2, 2023(photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)
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Israeli security officials were against the transfer of the drones, primarily due to the significant concern that Hamas might attempt to acquire the drones and employ them against the IDF.

Representatives from the United Arab Emirates made a request last week to bring five surveillance drones into the Gaza Strip in order to monitor vehicles transporting equipment destined for the field hospital they are establishing there. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); These vehicles were not carrying humanitarian aid, but rather specialized equipment for the hospital.

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During discussions with representatives from various Israeli government agencies, including the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and others, the UAE’s representatives sought permission to deploy the drones to ensure the security of the hospital project.

However, they were informed that, due to security concerns, the drones could not be allowed into the Gaza Strip, and the drones were returned to them.

A security official clarified that there was no attempt to smuggle the drones: “They made a request, and we politely declined.”
Why did Israel not allow the UAE to use surveillance drones in Gaza?

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Security officials within the system were against the transfer of the drones, primarily due to the significant concern that Hamas might attempt to acquire the drones and employ them against the IDF.

Hamas has been operating pairs of drones throughout the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war, particularly in areas where the IDF is stationed. One drone is tasked with gathering information and conducting reconnaissance and surveillance, while another carries out responsive attacks, including the dropping of explosive devices or other forms of explosive charges.

According to IDF sources, the use of drones has significantly decreased in recent weeks following targeted attacks on Hamas’s drone storage facilities and the neutralization of other drones. It is anticipated that the use of drones may resume as the situation stabilizes in the southern Gaza Strip.

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In addition, the UK Defense Ministry said it would “conduct surveillance flights over the Eastern Mediterranean, including operating in air space over Israel and Gaza.”

It added that “surveillance aircraft will be unarmed, do not have a combat role, and will be tasked solely to locate hostages. Only information relating to hostage rescue will be passed to the relevant authorities responsible for hostage rescue.”

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