The Israel Defense Forces aren’t the most talkative bunch when it come to discussing ongoing operations, so it's interesting to read an account the military put out on how it uses its small, hand-launched UAVs to support ground troops.
For instance, the account quotes an Israeli sergeant as saying that “when the forces enter and cross the border, the UAV flies 500 meters in front of them, clearing the area. We guide them and give them advice regarding a safe point of entrance, what is risky and what is not.”
The Givati Brigade, for instance, has had dedicated UAV support, with folks familiar with the system stationed in the unit’s operations room to directly respond to demands from the ground forces.
The IDF also says the Givati Brigade’s reconnaissance division, which is in the Gaza Strip, gets a real-time feed of the UAV’s video imagery. The UAV has electro-optical and infrared sensors.
The UAVs are also used to monitor humanitarian activities during times when hostilities cease. The IDF says that when wounded are evacuated, they are escorted by the UAV. The IDF quotes the sergeant, who puts a nice humanitarian spin on what’s going on: “we escort them and check that everything is okay; if they ask how many blockades there are on the route that they’re taking to seek medical care, we give them a response within a few minutes.” One might also suspect the IDF is checking to make sure the periods of cease fire aren't being used to reinforce Hamas.
The entire account is available here.