By Ryan Jones
Israel's air force on Saturday downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that penetrated the country's airspace and spent nearly 30 minutes flying over the Jewish state.
The UAV was eventually shot down in the northern Negev region.
Air Force officials said they were aware of the UAV before it entered Israeli airspace, but due to the risks of shooting it down over the populated coastal plain—and perhaps a bit out of curiosity—they allowed it to remain airborne until it flew further inland.
Military officials Suspect Hizbullah behind Drone Shot Down Near Israel's Nuclear Reactor
Former Air Force chief Gen. (ret.) Dan Halutz told Israel Radio that the drone posed no real security threat, as it was unarmed and its cameras could not have gathered any more intelligence than is available on Google Earth.
Still, the drone was shot down not far from the northern Negev town of Dimona, home to Israel's nuclear reactor. Military officials are quite certain the drone was launched either by Iran or its allies in Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia. Hizballah drones have flown over Israel in the past.
- Israeli planes trigger sonic booms over Lebanon in possible response to drone dispatch • Times of Israel
- Iranian media: Drone infiltration exposes Israeli weakness • Ynet News
- Israeli Planes in ‘Mock Raids’ over Lebanon • Arutz Sheva
- Israel Says Drone Origin Being Probed Amid Hezbollah-Link Report • Bloomberg News
- Israel says Hezbollah sent drone • UPI