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IDF: Hezbollah drone downed after breaching Israeli airspace

Military says unmanned aircraft was constantly under surveillance; troops also find a second drone belonging to the Lebanese terror group that was shot down weeks ago

In this photo from December 13, 2018, Israeli soldiers stand guard next to cameras at their new position in front of a Hezbollah flag, near the Lebanese southern border village of Mays al-Jabal, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
In this photo from December 13, 2018, Israeli soldiers stand guard next to cameras at their new position in front of a Hezbollah flag, near the Lebanese southern border village of Mays al-Jabal, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday downed a drone belonging to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror organization after it entered Israeli airspace, the military said.

Soldiers also located a second drone that was downed on the Israel-Lebanon border several months ago, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF said the UAV that was shot down Monday was identified by troops after it entered Israeli skies, before it was targeted.

“The drone was under surveillance by the forces throughout the incident,” an IDF statement said.

The other drone was shot down several weeks ago after entering Israeli airspace, the military added, without further elaborating.

Illustrative: A drone that the IDF says was flown into Israel from Lebanon by Hezbollah before it was shot down by IDF troops, on March 26, 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

The incident came on the heels of a number of recent Israeli warnings toward Hezbollah, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s threat last week that the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite terror group will suffer “heavy consequences” if it acts against Israel.

“We are aware of Hezbollah’s attempts to challenge us in new ways,” Gantz said, without elaborating on the new tactics. “We will deal with any threat. If Hezbollah challenges the IDF and the State of Israel, it will suffer very, very heavy consequences and I hope they don’t do that.”

In February, Hezbollah fired anti-aircraft missiles at an advanced Israeli drone in a significant escalation in the level of violence along the border. A few days prior to that, a small, off-the-shelf IDF drone was allegedly downed by Hezbollah using small arms fire.

Also in February, the Israeli Air Force held a three-day snap drill simulating a large-scale war with Hezbollah, which the military said included targeting some 3,000 mock strikes in a day.

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