About half of the Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) shot down over Israel by the air force on October 6 lay out in the open near the Negev’s Yatir Forest for over a week until cameramen from TV’s Channel 10 notified the IDF and handed the wreckage over, the news agency reported on Monday.
Bedouin residing in the area surrounding the southern Yatir Forest discovered sections of the Hezbollah-operated UAV days after the Israeli Air Force shot it down. The “large, important parts” of the aircraft, which then found their way to the Channel 10 team, included portions of the fuselage and wings, with parts showing the aircraft’s serial number.
According to the report, the IAF opted to shoot down the UAV over Israeli territory — as opposed to over Gaza or the Mediterranean — in order to collect intelligence from the wreckage. After downing it northeast of Beersheba, the IDF cordoned off the crash area as a closed military zone, and members of the IDF’s elite 669 search and rescue unit combed the area for wreckage. The IAF told Channel 10 that it had collected sufficient parts and left the area thereafter.
The report called the military’s oversight in failing to collect all of the plane fragments a “screw-up.”
The military was initially incredulous that the reporters had found anything, and were surprised when the parts were sent in, according to the report. The military censor did not permit the television station to broadcast images of the discovered remnants.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday claimed responsibility for launching the drone, saying the UAV had been assembled by Hezbollah men using parts provided by Iran. Iranian leaders have since hinted at responsibility for providing the Lebanese Shiite group with the UAV.