“Israel shot down a drone Thursday as it approached the country’s northern coast,” reports the Associated Press, citing military sources.
“Suspicion immediately fell on the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon,” AP noted. “The incident was likely to raise already heightened tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, a bitter enemy that battled Israel to a stalemate during a month-long war in 2006. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in northern Israel at the time of the incident, said he viewed the infiltration attempt with ‘utmost gravity.'”
“We will continue to do everything necessary in order to protect the security of the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
“Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the unmanned aircraft was detected as it was flying over Lebanon and tracked as it approached Israeli airspace,” AP reported. “Lerner said the military waited for the aircraft to enter Israeli airspace, confirmed it was ‘enemy,’ and an F-16 warplane shot it down. The drone was flying at an altitude of about 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) and was downed roughly five miles (eight kilometers) off the Israeli coast near the northern city of Haifa. Lerner said Israeli naval forces were searching for the remains of the aircraft.”
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