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IDF downs drone that enters Israeli airspace from Lebanon

Small commercially made craft apparently sent by Hezbollah terror group, likely brought down using electronic warfare means

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A drone likely belonging to Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group is seen after being downed by troops on the border with Lebanon, on July 18, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
A drone likely belonging to Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group is seen after being downed by troops on the border with Lebanon, on July 18, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli forces on Monday downed a drone that Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group apparently flew over the border, the military said.

The incident occurred some three weeks after the Israel Defense Forces downed four UAVs launched by the terror group at an offshore gas field.

A statement from the IDF on Monday said air control units tracked the unmanned aircraft “throughout the incident” before taking it down.

It did not specify how the drone was brought down as it entered Israeli airspace; however, it was believed to have been using electronic warfare means.

“The drone likely belongs to the Hezbollah terror group,” the IDF said.

“The IDF will continue to operate in order to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty,” the statement added.

In an image shared by the army, the drone appears to be a commercially available quadcopter manufactured by Chinese company DJI.

Defense officials have previously noted that at least some of the drones Hezbollah apparently uses for surveillance purposes are commercially available devices.

There was no immediate statement from Hezbollah or affiliated media outlets on the drone downing.

Lebanon and Israel are technically in a state of war and the heavily guarded border is commonly penetrated by drones from both sides.

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

On July 2, the Israel Defense Forces intercepted three Hezbollah drones heading for the Karish gas field. Hezbollah confirmed it launched the drones after previously threatening the field, which sits in a maritime area that both Lebanon and Israel claim as their own. In another incident on June 29, a drone launched by the terror group was downed over Lebanon’s waters.

Those drones were “products of Iran,” according to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

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