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Israel downs Gaza drone along southern coast

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published July 14, 2014 at 7:31 a.m. Updated July 14, 2014 at 11:01 a.m.


Palestinian mourners cry in a house after the bodies of Mousa Abu Muamer, 56, and his son Saddam, 27, who were killed in an overnight Israeli missile strike at their house in the outskirts of the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, were brought in during their funeral procession on Monday, July 14, 2014. Saddam's wife, Hanadi, 27, was also killed in the attack.

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said it downed a drone launched by Gaza militants on Monday, the first time it encountered an unmanned aircraft since the start of its offensive last week, as new Israeli airstrikes pushed the death toll from Israeli airstrikes to at least 175.

Israel began its campaign against militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza last Tuesday, saying it was responding to heavy rocket fire from the densely populated territory. The military says it has launched more than 1,300 airstrikes since then, while Palestinian militants have launched nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel.

The outbreak of violence followed the kidnappings and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last month, as well as the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager in an apparent revenge attack, along with Israeli raids against Hamas militants and infrastructure in the West Bank.

Israel's Shin Bet security service on Monday released the findings of its investigation into the killing of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose death set off days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel. The detention of the three main suspects in the case, a 29-year-old man and a pair of 17-year-olds, was extended until Friday as they appeared before a court, officials said.

Shin Bet said the suspects, whose names were not released, were motivated by revenge following the killing of the Israeli teenagers. During the investigation, the three admitted to abducting Abu Khdeir and setting him on fire, according to the security agency and police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld. They also re-enacted the murder. Four others were being investigated and remained under house arrest for their involvement in the killing.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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