UN force says it hasn’t spotted any breach of Israeli airspace from Lebanon; responsibility for UAV mission yet to be claimed
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has not detected a drone flying from Lebanese territory into Israel‘s airspace over the weekend, a spokesman for the agency said on Monday in an interview with a local radio station.
The IAF intercepted an unmanned aircraft flying over the northern Negev on Saturday. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the drone mission, although the Al Mayadeen television channel, which is associated with Hezbollah, reported that an aircraft that belongs to the terrorist organization “penetrated a depth of 100 kilometers and created much tension in Israel.”
Officials in the defense establishment increasingly believe that the UAV came from Lebanon and was meant to collect intelligence and test the IDF‘s response time. The officials are looking into the possibility that the drone was headed to the nuclear facility in Dimona.
The deployment of an unmanned aircraft to such distances requires advanced equipment that until now, Hezbollah was not known to possess. The defense establishment is testing the aircraft’s remnants to determine whether it was remotely controlled, or whether it was preprogrammed to fly over certain sites.
A senior official in the establishment said that “Israel is aware of Iran and Hezbollah’s technological capabilities. We are now discussing how to respond to the breach, and whether such an incident could be likened to a rocket or missile launched from Lebanon, which necessitates immediate retaliation against targets in southern Lebanon.”
News websites in the Islamic Republic have stressed that the incident indicates the failure of the Israeli aerial defense.