IDF shoots down drone that penetrated Israeli airspace from Lebanon

The IDF on Monday shot down a drone that Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group believed had flown across the border, the military said.

The incident took place about three weeks after the IDF fired four drones down the terrorist group at the Karish gas field.

According to an Israeli military statement on Monday, air traffic controllers tracked the unmanned aircraft “through the incident” before firing it down.

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The statement does not specify how the drone was shot down when it entered Israeli airspace, but it is believed that electronic warfare was used.

“The drone probably belongs to the Hezbollah terrorist group,” the IDF said.

“The IDF will continue its operations to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty,” the statement said.

In a photo shared by the military, the drone appears to be a commercially available quadcopter manufactured by the Chinese company DJI.

Defense officials have previously noted that some of the drones Hezbollah apparently uses for surveillance purposes are off-the-shelf.

There was no immediate statement from Hezbollah or affiliated media about the downed drone.

Lebanon and Israel are technically at war, and the heavily guarded border is often crossed by drones from both sides.

Lebanon regularly complains about Israeli surveillance drones invading its airspace, but the IDF maintains that such attacks are necessary to track the activities of the Hezbollah terrorist group, which the Lebanese government is supposed to keep under control.

On July 2, the IDF intercepted three Hezbollah drones en route to the Karish gas field. Hezbollah confirmed the launch of the drones after threatening the field, which is located in a sea area, both Lebanon and Israel claim. In another incident, on June 29, a drone launched by the terrorist group was shot down over Lebanese waters.

These drones were “Iranian production,” according to Defense Secretary Benny Gantz.

Hezbollah then admitted to having sent “three unarmed drones against the disputed Karish field for reconnaissance missions”.

Lebanon and Israel, two neighboring countries that are officially still in a state of war, began unprecedented negotiations in October 2020 under Washington’s auspices to delineate their maritime border to remove obstacles to hydrocarbon exploration.

For Israel, the Karish field is located on its territory, but for Beirut, this occurrence is in disputed waters.

Negotiations were suspended in May 2021 following disputes over the surface of the disputed area, including the Karish gas field.

Tensions resurfaced in early June with the arrival of a ship chartered on behalf of the Jewish state by British investigative company Energean Plc, Lebanon, which accuses Israel of operating in a disputed area.

AFP contributed to this article.

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