Israel Claims Destruction of Hamas Drone Program [VIDEO]

Terror group came perilously close to flying drones over Tel Aviv, Israel says.

Smoke rises during an explosion from an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on Gaza rocket operations by militants to include the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels.

Hamas's ability to develop drones may have been crippled over the past seven days, according to video footage and announcements released by the Israeli Defense Forces earlier this week.

According to the IDF, the Israeli Air Force recently attacked eight of Hamas's unmanned aerial vehicle storage facilities and "inflicted severe damage to Hamas's UAV infrastructure."

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The IDF attacks came in response to undated surveillance footage that allegedly shows a drone test flight in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

In the video, a drone seemingly spirals out of control, but the IDF insists Hamas was close to making functional drones, which would have allegedly had a range of more than six miles and could have reached Tel Aviv from the Gaza Strip.

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"Many of those capabilities are now greatly reduced," the IDF said.

According to news reports out of the area, Hamas considered its UAV program a "top objective" and planned to use both armed and unarmed UAVs for attacks and surveillance gathering. The group allegedly learned how to make drones from aircraft manufacturers in Iran and Syria.

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Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at