IDF says Hezbollah drone crashed in town near Acre; no sirens sound

Military probing circumstances of incident, a day after explosive UAV struck open field in Galilee; Gallant: Terror group’s ‘equations’ falling apart

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

A Hezbollah drone is seen near Acre in northern Israel, February 20, 2024.(Screenshot: X)
A Hezbollah drone is seen near Acre in northern Israel, February 20, 2024.(Screenshot: X)

A drone launched by the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon crashed into the yard of a home in a community near the northern coastal city of Acre on Tuesday afternoon, the military said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the circumstances of the incident were under investigation, and that military and police forces were at the scene in the town of Bustan HaGalil.

There were no damage or injuries in the incident. Footage showed that the drone was largely intact after crashing.

No warning sirens had sounded as the unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace, which the IDF was probing.

The IDF accused Hezbollah of launching the drone, although the Lebanese terror group did not immediately claim responsibility.

It was the second day in a row that an apparent Hezbollah drone infiltrated into Israel without sirens sounding, after on Monday, an explosive-laden UAV slammed into an open field near the town of Arbel in the Lower Galilee, causing no injuries.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets IAF soldiers at a base in northern Israel housing a giant missile-detecting balloon, February 20, 2024. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Hezbollah Tuesday during a visit to the Israeli Air Force’s new giant missile-detecting balloon in the north, saying that the “equations” of the terror group’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, were collapsing, as the IAF has been operating over all areas in Lebanon.

“The equations that Hezbollah thought it had created collapse when the air force and the IDF decide to attack, in Damascus, in Beirut, in Sidon, in Nabatieh, everywhere they do this work, and no equation stands in the way,” Gallant said at the base housing the detection system, dubbed “Elevated Sensor,” or “Sky Dew” in Israel.

“Every day, the IDF wins and Hezbollah loses. I hope there won’t be more difficult days, but if there are, you are ready,” he told IAF soldiers.

On Tuesday, the IDF said it struck numerous Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon, in response to the terror group’s rocket and missile attacks.

The targets included rocket launchers in Yaroun and Marwahin, several buildings and infrastructure in Ayta ash-Shab, Dhayra, Yaroun, Houla and Blida, and another building where Hezbollah operatives were gathered in Kafr Kila.

Hezbollah, meanwhile, claimed a series of attacks on northern Israel throughout Tuesday. No injuries were reported.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces in Lebanon have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza during the war there. This has led to Israeli retaliations and regular cross-border fire, and has displaced some 80,000 Israelis in border communities.

Israel has warned that it will no longer tolerate the presence of Hezbollah along the Lebanon frontier, where it could attempt to carry out an attack similar to the massacre committed by Hamas on October 7.

It has warned that a failure of international diplomacy to force Hezbollah away from the border will necessitate an Israeli offensive.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in six civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 10 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 206 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon, but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 32 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier and at least 30 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Most Popular
read more: