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Middle East Unrest

Israel Downs Drone Sent From Gaza, Responds to Lebanon Rockets

Israel said it shot down a drone launched from Gaza on Monday, the first time it has discovered an unmanned aircraft being used in the conflict by militants. Hamas, the Islamist group which runs Gaza, said its armed wing had sent several drones to carry out "special missions" deep inside Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces also said on its website that it had responded to more rockets fired on it from neighboring Lebanon, the latest of several barrages launched over the weekend. Israeli police told Reuters there was no immediate word of casualties and no group, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, has claimed responsibility. The exchanges come amid renewed hostilities in which Israel's U.S.-backed military has killed at least 160 people - many of them civilian women and children - in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, according to Gaza's heath ministry. The IDF says it is attempting to protect itself and stamp out rocket attacks from Hamas, which the IDF accuses of using human shields. There have been almost 1,000 rocket attacks launched on Israel from Gaza, the IDF says, causing limited damage and no deaths.

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- Alexander Smith

Reuters contributed to this report.