IDF Shoots Down Hezbollah Drone Over Sea Near Haifa Coast

Military sources: Drone, supplied by Iran, is for show and unlikely to have been carrying explosives.

Amos Harel
AP
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Amos Harel
AP

Israel Air Force jets shot down a Hezbollah drone plane Monday evening over the Mediterranean Sea near Haifa. No damage or injuries were reported.

The IAF did not comment on whether the plane was carrying weapons, but Brigadier General Yohanan Locker said that to the best of his knowledge the drone was not armed, but was intended mainly for show.

The drone was identified in the evening hours by a surveillance unit even before it crossed the border into Israel.

Fighter jets intercepted the drone and sent it into the sea, after which air force ships collected debris from it.

In the past two years Hezbollah has sent two drones over northern Israel.

In November 2004, Hezbollah sent its first ever drone, named "Mirsad 1" over Israel, circling for some 20 minutes while filming. In April 2005, a "Mirsad 2" crossed the border. In neither case the IDF succeeded in intercepting the plane.

Since the beginning of the war, military sources indicated a high probability that Hezbollah would try to send a drone into Israel.

Military sources suspected that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was referring to drones when he spoke of "surprises" he had in store for Israel.

Nasrallah has said that a single drone is capable of carrying 45 kilograms of explosives.

The sources said the drones are manufactured in Iran and supplied by the Iranian government, as were the surface-to-sea missiles used to strike an Israeli navy ship three weeks ago.

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