Saturday, October 6, 2012

Unidentified drone shot down by Israeli air force

The Israeli air force shot down an unarmed and unidentified drone on Saturday after it entered the country’s airspace from the Mediterranean Sea, an army spokesman reported. 

 “An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was identified penetrating Israeli airspace this morning, and was intercepted by the IAF at approximately 10:00 am (0800 GMT),” a military spokesman said.

Soldiers are currently searching the area where the drone was downed, in open areas in the northern Negev, to locate and identify it, the spokesman added.

Army radio said that the aircraft was not carrying explosives.

It quoted a military spokesman as saying troops responsible for monitoring “acted as they should have done after spotting the drone following its intrusion into Israeli airspace.”

Military spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich later told reporters: “This drone was spotted over the Mediterranean in a sector near the Gaza Strip before entering Israeli airspace, where the air force followed it.”

“It was followed from the beginning until the time it was decided to intercept it and shoot it down for operational reasons over the Yatir Forest in the northern Negev, an uninhabited region.”

Leibovich called the operation a “success,” but she did not say how the drone was shot down.

“Israeli soldiers are at the scene and retrieving pieces of debris,” she added.

In July 2006, the Israeli military shot down an unarmed drone operated by Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement over the Jewish state’s territorial waters.

And on April 12, 2005, another pilotless Hezbollah aircraft succeeded in overflying part of northern Israel without being downed.

 http://english.alarabiya.net

 (Reuters) - The Israeli air force shot down a drone after it crossed into southern Israel on Saturday, the military said, but it remained unclear where the aircraft had come from.

The drone was first spotted above the Mediterranean Sea in the area of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the west of Israel, said military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich.

It was kept under surveillance and followed by Israeli air force jets before it was shot down above a forest in an unpopulated area near the border with the occupied West Bank.

Leibovich said it was shot down at about 10 a.m. (0700 GMT), after it traveled east some 35 miles across Israel's southern Negev desert.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the interception as "sharp and effective".

"We view with great gravity the attempt to compromise Israeli air space and will consider our response in due course," Barak said in a statement.

Soldiers were searching the area for the remains of the drone, which security sources said most likely did not originate from the Gaza Strip. It was not immediately clear whether it was armed.

On at least one occasion, Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a Shi'ite group in Lebanon, has launched a drone into Israel. And in 2010, an Israeli warplane shot down an apparently unmanned balloon in the Negev near the country's Dimona nuclear reactor.


http://www.reuters.com

(CNN) -- The Israeli air force shot down an unmanned drone Saturday over the northern Negev desert, the nation's military said.

The Israeli Defense Forces said the drone was spotted before entering Israeli airspace. Ground troops and fighter jets kept the drone under surveillance until shooting it down around 10 a.m. Saturday over the Yatir Forest, the IDF said.

Soldiers were searching the area for remnants of the drone, the IDF said.

It is not clear where the drone originated, but the aircraft entered Israeli airspace from the west, the IDF said.

The Negev is in southern Israel, with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.


http://www.cnn.com

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