Israeli Military Thwarts Hamas Underwater Drone Attack on Ships

The Israeli military said Monday that it had thwarted an attack by a Hamas cell that intended to use a remote-controlled submarine to disable Israel Navy ships.

The Israel Defense Forces said Hamas militants were killed and their submarine was destroyed in the attack. “The submarine that was attacked was launched from the shore in Gaza,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said. “It went a few meters deep and was directed at a target, which could have been an Israeli beach or Israel Navy boats.”

All of the world’s navies now use unmanned drones that operate above and below the surface of the water. Popular with hobbyists, requiring little training or maintenance and relatively inexpensive, at a few thousand dollars each or less, they are also accessible to terror organizations. Most are relatively simple to use. Some are capable of navigating to defined targets using GPS, while others operate by remote control.

Hamas modifies these drones in their workshops to accommodate an explosive payload of up to to 30 kilograms. The damage that an explosion of this size can do next to an Israel Navy boat or close to an Israeli beach is limited, but it could give Hamas the “victory photo” experts say the organization needs. The main target for Hamas is the Israel Navy or Israel’s offshore natural gas platforms. Submersibles of this kind can only gather naval intelligence or carry light payloads of equipment for Hamas’ naval commandos.

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