Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Saturday with a “vigorous response” after militants used a drone to drop a bomb on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.
This appeared to be the first-ever attempt to carry out an attack with a drone piloted from Gaza.
The Israeli army said the drone released “what seems to be an explosive device” and lightly damaged an army vehicle near the fence.
The military said it retaliated with an airstrike against Palestinian militants responsible for the attack. There were no reports of injuries on the Palestinian side.
Netanyahu is in the midst of a reelection campaign, with less than two weeks to go before a do-over vote after he failed to secure a parliamentary majority in April’s election.
“Hamas is responsible for everything coming out of Gaza and all attacks will be met with a vigorous response,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007, is known to be developing a drone program and has used it before for reconnaissance missions over the frontier and into Israel. Using drones for attacks was previously unheard of.
Earlier, an Israeli father and son were stabbed near the town of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. Israeli medical services said the 17-year-old was in a serious but stable condition.
The military said it was an attack by a Palestinian assailant and that soldiers were in pursuit.
On Friday, Israeli forces shot dead two Gaza teenagers during regular weekend protests along the volatile perimeter fence.
Militants in Gaza fired five projectiles into Israel in an apparent response to the deaths.