IDF says drone crashed in Lebanon due to malfunction, no data leaked

Military says incident occurred during ‘routine activities’ along the border; it comes days after a military surveillance UAV crashed in West Bank town

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

A 'Matrice' drone, with night-vision capabilities, used by the IDF. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
A 'Matrice' drone, with night-vision capabilities, used by the IDF. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)

An Israeli military drone crashed in Lebanese territory on Friday due to a technical malfunction, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the incident was being investigated and added that no sensitive information had been lost due to the crash and there was no risk of intelligence being taken from the device.

“During routine activities, an IDF drone fell in Lebanese territory due to a technical malfunction,” the army said in a statement.

There was no immediate information on Lebanese media as to the location of where the drone fell or images identifying the model.

Small, off-the-shelf models used for simple reconnaissance missions are the types of drones that fell in previous similar incidents along the Lebanese border.

Such drones, which are relatively cheap, crash or are brought down in Lebanon — and the Gaza Strip — at a frequency of once every few months.

On Wednesday, an IDF-operated Elbit Skylark — a larger surveillance UAV — fell in the Palestinian West Bank town of Tubas. It was later retrieved by soldiers, a military spokesperson said.

Israel is technically at war with Lebanon, where it has fought two wars — one in 1982 against Palestinian terrorists who had established a base of operations in the country and one in 2006 against Hezbollah.

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

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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