The Israeli military’s use of Hermes 450 drones to conduct assassinations has been confirmed in an official army document whose contents were reported Wednesday.
The article, published by Ha’aretz, was subsequently removed without explanation.
As explained in the paper, Hermes 450, “dubbed Zik in the Israeli army”, is an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Israeli military’s Artillery Corps, and is “very widely used in Israel Air Force operations,” according to the army’s website.
The document published on the Israel Defense Forces website, “detailing military operations in 2014 under the Southern Command”, states “that the army had attacked 5,226 targets during the war in Gaza and dealt with 32 tunnels, of which 14 were located in Israeli territory.”
According to the Ha’aretz report, two specific incidents cited in the document were on July 8, when four Palestinian fighters were killed at Zikim beach, and on July 17, when the army “thwarted” a cross-border tunnel attack by 13 fighters using the Hermes 450.
The paper noted that “the army does not usually formally declare what it does with unmanned vehicles used for anything other than collecting intelligence.”