Lebanese Drone Enters Israeli Territory and Turns Around

Israeli military looking into circumstances of the latest in a string of incidents amid growing friction with Lebanon on Israel's northern border

The Lebanese-Israeli border
Gil Eliahu

A drone from Lebanon entered Israeli territory and then turned back and returned to Lebanon, the Israeli army said on Friday. 

The Israeli military added that the incident was being looked into.

Last month, the Israeli military said that fire was opened on one of its unmanned aerial vehicles over the city of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon, but that the UAV had not been downed. 

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for targeting the UAV, saying they chased it away from Lebanon's airspace, with the group's Al-Manar TV reporting that the organization struck a UAV over southern Lebanon "with appropriate weapons," forcing it to leave.  

In August, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed that his Shi'ite group would retaliate for the two drones that crashed on a Hezbollah media center in a southern suburb of Beirut that he has attributed to Israel "in every possible place along the border."

"Our response for last week's events will be [launched from] within Lebanon against Israeli targets. We usually strike in the area of the Shebba Farms [Mount Dov]," but this time the group will not limit its attacks on one area, he added.

In September Nasrallah warned that while a flare-up with Israel at the border was over, the episode had launched a "new phase" in which the Iran-backed group no longer has red lines.

In a televised speech, the Hezbollah leader said the new focus would be on targeting Israeli drones that enter Lebanon's airspace, and this would be handled by fighters in the field.