search

Soldiers fire on IDF drone on Lebanon border due to mistaken identification

Military says aircraft, which soldiers suspected crossed into Israeli airspace from northern neighbor, was not damaged in incident

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

An IDF soldier flies a small drone as part of a large-scale exercise 'Lethal Arrow' simulating war in the north in October 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)
An IDF soldier flies a small drone as part of a large-scale exercise 'Lethal Arrow' simulating war in the north in October 2020. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli soldiers fired at a drone on the Lebanese border on Sunday afternoon, only to then realize it belonged to the military.

The soldiers initially suspected the drone had crossed from Lebanon into Israeli airspace, the Israel Defense Forces said. They fired at it due to a “mistaken identification.”

The drone was not damaged in the incident, the military said. It added that a further investigation would take place.

It was not immediately clear what type of drone was fired upon.

Lebanon and Israel are technically in a state of war and drones have become a regular feature of their heavily guarded border.

Small, off-the-shelf models used for simple reconnaissance missions are the types of IDF drones that have previously fallen in Lebanon. 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.

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 meant to keep in check.

At least 74 drones flown by Hezbollah crossed into Israeli territory last year, compared to 94 in 2020 and 54 the year before that, according to the Walla news site. Most of the drones were downed.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed