As the battle between Israel and Hamas raged into its sixth day, Hamas launched a drone into the fight. It reportedly cost Israel a million dollars to swiftly knock it down with a Patriot missile. From the ABC report:
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that Israel brought down was targeted with a Patriot missile, the Israeli military said, near the southern city of Ashdod. There’s no evidence the small downed drone was armed, a senior Israeli military intelligence official told ABC News, adding they believe it was launched for the benefit of media attention.
And here is the media attention. According to ABC's military consultant, "using a Patriot to shoot down a UAV is like using a shotgun to kill a fly.” An expensive shotgun at that.
Meanwhile, the firing of rockets into Israel from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes continued with the Palestinian death toll rising past 170. As Joshua Mitnick noted:
Since Tuesday, Hamas and other militant factions in Gaza have fired 971 rockets at Israel. So far, however, they inflicted no fatalities and only light damage, largely due to the effectiveness of Israel's air defense system.
In contrast, Israel has carried out more than 1,300 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in the same period. At least 172 people have been killed, many of them civilians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. The extent of infrastructure damage isn't yet known."
While various international leaders and diplomats work behind the scenes to cajole Israel and Hamas into a ceasefire, the leaders themselves continue to resist calls to stop.
Today, the Arab League met in Cairo and issued a statement calling on the international community to stop Israel's airstrikes. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his case to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, saying that "long-term quiet" is the goal of the Israeli counteroffensive.