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Israel acknowledges use of attack drones for first time

JERUSALEM (AP) – The Israeli military on Wednesday confirmed one of its worst-kept secrets, publicly acknowledging for the first time that it uses unmanned aerial vehicles to carry out attacks.

Israel is a world leader in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.

But until Wednesday, the military censor barred official confirmation of the use of attack drones.

In a statement, the censor’s office said that after a lengthy review, it had concluded that acknowledging the use of the weapons was not a security risk.

“There is no prohibition on publishing the use of attack drones as part of the Israeli military’s operational activity,” it said.

Israel has used drones to attack targets in Gaza for well over a decade, with human rights groups and international media reporting on the practice.

Experts said the weapons can be identified based on the explosions, which are much smaller than airstrikes carried out by warplanes, and the buzzing sound of the unmanned aircraft flying overhead.