Israel Gaza Conflict Drone
An Israeli army flare falls into Gaza JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli military has confirmed it shot down a drone which entered Israel's airspace from Gaza.

The unmanned aircraft was intercepted and downed by a Patriot missile battery near the southern coastal city of Ashdod. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted:

Code Red sirens, which usually sound to signal an imminent rocket strike, were set off in Ashdod by the approaching aircraft.

Almost 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza since hostilities erupted, but no drone was previously known to have been flown toward Israel.

The Israeli Navy was searching the area to examine the remnants of the aircraft. IDF did not disclose what the aircraft was carrying.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the drone launch. The group's armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades also said they sent several more into Isreal for deep reconnaissance purposes.

Reuters reporter Dan Williams tweeted:

Al-Watan newspaper posted online video footage purportedly showing the unmanned aircraft flying off the Israeli coast.