IDF shoots down drone from Lebanon, says it was flown by Hezbollah
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IDF shoots down drone from Lebanon, says it was flown by Hezbollah

Military says UAV was recovered by troops; incident comes amid general warning of heightened tensions

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

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)
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 Israel Defense Forces said it shot down a drone that was flown by the Hezbollah terror group into Israeli airspace from Lebanon on Thursday morning.

The military said the small drone was retrieved by Israeli troops. The IDF refused to comment on the nature of the device, and whether it carried explosives, implying it was a reconnaissance drone.

On Thursday afternoon, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters that the military was on “high alert on a number of fronts,” without elaborating.

“The IDF works constantly on the borders of the State of Israel using multi-tiered defense systems to detect and intercept aerial infiltrations,” the military said in a statement.

“The IDF will continue to thwart any attempt by the Hezbollah terror group to violate the State of Israel’s sovereignty, using various defensive and offensive tools in order to protect the citizens of Israel,” the IDF said.

In recent days the military has said that it noticed a marked decrease in activity by Israel’s enemies in light of the coronavirus — notably Iran, which has been dealing with one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the disease.

Zilberman on Thursday said that trend has generally held, though he noted that some terrorist activities have continued regardless, citing unspecified intelligence warnings.

Israel fought a punishing war against Hezbollah in 2006, along with a small number of border skirmishes in the intervening years.

The Iran-backed terror group, which has an arsenal of some 130,000 rockets and missiles, is widely regarded as Israel’s primary military foe in the region and the second-largest threat facing the Jewish state, following Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb.

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