The Israel Air Force (IAF) has shot down a Hezbollah unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Haifa. The UAV crashed into the Mediterranean.
The incident took place just before 2 pm. IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said, "The aircraft was flying from north to south from the Lebanese coast. The IAF identified it while it was still in Lebanon and tracked it. Fighter jets and helicopters were scrambled to ascertain that we were not talking about a friendly aircraft. After we received the data, the IAF commander who was in charge of the incident, approved shooting down the drone by the fighter aircraft, which did so with an air-to-air missile. The drone was brought down five miles off the coast of Haifa at an altitude of 6,000 feet."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today visited the Druze towns of Julis and Dalyat el-Carmel to mark the prophet Nabi Shueib holiday. Commenting on the UAV incident, he said, "Israel knows how to deal with any threat, from north or south, from Syria, or from Lebanon, whether from land, sea, or air."
Earlier today, Lebanon's news agency and Hizbullah's television station "Al Manar" reported that IAF planes overflew Jezzine, 30 kilometers south of Beirut. There is no Israeli confirmation of the reports.
For months, the Lebanese media has reported the Lebanese Army has identified IAF planes entering the country's air space, making sorties over the south. The reports claim that at least seven planes overflew the coast near Sidon, and that other sorties were in the east, near the border with Syria. Lebanon has filed several complaints with the UN over the incursions.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 25, 2013
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