January 7, 2019
A drone-shaped device from the Gaza Strip, borne by dozens of helium balloons, lands in a carrot field in southern Israel on January 6 ,2019. (Courtesy)
A drone-shaped device from the Gaza Strip exploded in an agricultural field of an Israeli kibbutz northeast of the coastal enclave on Sunday, causing neither injury nor damage, police said.
Security forces had been sent to the carrot field in the Sdot Negev region where the object landed, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The object was shaped like an unmanned aerial vehicle, with a wingspan of over 1.2 meters (4 feet), and was carried into Israel by dozens of colorful helium balloons. Though similar to a drone in appearance, the device was apparently not capable of flight.
The name of a Gazan engineering college was printed on the side of the drone lookalike.
Police said the device exploded as a bomb disposal robot examined it. The drone lookalike was then carried away.
"No injuries were caused; the investigation continues," police said.
It was not immediately clear how the device made it across the border without being shot down by the IDF.
The police reiterated calls to Israelis to contact law enforcement if they see suspicious objects.
The discovery came after a week-long lull in airborne arson attempts from Gaza.
Gaza protesters have launched hundreds of incendiary kites and balloons into Israel over the past nine months, sparking fires that have destroyed forests, burned crops, and killed livestock. Thousands of acres of land have been burned, causing millions of shekels in damages, according to Israeli officials. Some balloons have also carried improvised explosive devices.