WATCH: Hezbollah video simulates flight path of drone that breached Israeli airspace
A clip on Hezbollah's TV station al-Manar shows the unmanned aerial vehicle, shot down last Saturday by the IDF, flying over the Mediterranean and into Israel.
Hezbollah's television station al-Manar aired on Thursday a film that simulates the trajectory of the unidentified aerial vehicle that breached Israeli airspace last weekend.
The film purports to show the flight route of the UAV over the Mediterranean, and the way in which it allegedly photographed Israeli and American warships. The illustrated drone is shown flying into Israeli skies in the Gaza-Ashkelon area, and documenting concentrations of security forces in Israel as it slips past the Israeli air defense radar.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah claimed responsibility on Thursday for launching the drone, which was shot down on Saturday over the south Hebron Hills by a fighter jet that was dispatched to the scene.
"The drone flew over sensitive installations in southern Palestine and near the plant in Dimona," Nasrallah said in a speech aired on al-Manar, adding that the drone was Iranian-made and operated by Hezbollah members from Lebanon.
Nasrallah added that the drone flew for tens of kilometers over the sea until it was discovered, and promised that it would not be the last unmanned aerial vehicle that will be sent into "the skies of Palestine."
Security officials estimated that the drone flew along the Mediterranean sea, and entered Israeli airspace from the south. They also estimated that the drone was meant to gather intelligence, and that it was not carrying explosives.
A Patriot surface-to-air missile battery was deployed in Haifa two days after the incident. Israel Defense Forces officials said that the deployment was not an emergency measure, and that such systems are deployed to the area from time to time.
IDF officials refused to comment on the possible connection between the drone, which was intercepted on Saturday, and the Patriot missile system deployment.
The Patriot missile system is a part of Israel’s air defense capabilities, and is meant to defend against enemy warplanes, and intercept missiles.
In recent years, Hezbollah, with the help of Iran, has developed its UAV capabilites. There were at least three such incidents over the past decade, including small drones penetrating Israel’s airspace from the north.
During his speech on al-Manar, Nasrallah discussed the organization's arms cache, responding to Lebanese calls for an arms boycott. Nasrallah said that arms must continue to be everywhere in order to protect Lebanon. He emphasized that it is the right of Hezbollah to deploy its weapons in as many places as possible, "otherwise the enemy will hit" the big warehouses.
Nasrallah denied that members of his organization are operating in Syria. He claimed that the Syrian regime has never demanded help from Hezbollah, and that whoever makes such claims has a hidden agenda. Despite this, he did not deny that people affiliated with Hezbollah have been killed on Syrian soil. Some 30,000 Lebanese people live in villages in Syrian territory, Nasrallah claimed in the speech, some of them Hezbollah operatives.
He added that following harassment by armed gangs, some of the residents of these villages had left and moved to Lebanon, while others decided to arm and defend themselves.
Nasrallah called on the Syrian opposition not to threaten or pressure Hezbollah. "The pressure exerted on us will not change our position," he said.