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Israel Releases Footage of Military Shooting Down Drone That Penetrated its Airspace


"We view this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely."

Image source: Israel Defense Forces/YouTube

Israel on Saturday released footage it said showed its air force shooting down a drone that crossed into the country's airspace.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the drone's origin was under investigation. It crossed into Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea and was brought down in the Negev desert in the south of the country.

"We had monitoring contact from the ground and from the air. We alerted jet planes that escorted the unmanned aerial vehicle and due to some operational considerations we decided to intercept the unmanned aerial vehicle in the northern Negev area, which has no population," Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said, according to the Associated Press.

Leibovich said the drone flew over the Gaza Strip but did not come from there. Israeli soldiers were searching the area where the drone went down to locate and identify it. No one was injured during the incident.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the drone flew over Israeli territory for "long minutes" but an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said it was "much less than half an hour."

The footage released by the IDF shows shows a dark object flitting through crosshairs before something streaks across the sky to blow it up. What appears to be a fighter jet is then briefly seen.

According to the AP, the terrorist group Hezbollah has sent several drones into Israeli airspace in the past. In the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, Hezbollah launched into Israel an Iranian-made drone capable of carrying explosives that was shot down. Another drone crashed into the Mediterranean two years earlier.

In a statement, Defense Minister Ehud Barak congratulated the military and said Israel viewed the incident "very severely."

"We view this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely and we will consider our response later," Barak said.

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