Israel Unsuccessfully Tries to Intercept Drone That Breached Its Airspace

The Israel Defense Forces tried to shoot down the drone three times – first with two Patriot missiles, and then with a fighter jet. But as far as the army can tell, the drone returned to Syria unscathed.

Trails of a Patriot missile that was fired on a drone in northern Israel, July 17, 2016.
Safed municipality

The Israeli military unsucessfully tried to intercept an unmanned aerial vehicle that breached its airspace on Sunday afternoon.

The drone entered 4 kilometers deep into Israeli territory before returning to Syria.

The Israel Defense Forces tried to shoot down the drone three times – first with two Patriot missiles, and then with a fighter jet, which fired an air-to- air missile at it. But as far as the army can tell, the drone escaped unscathed.

The IDF said it is still trying to determine what type of drone it was and who was operating it. One possibility is that it was a Russian drone.

The incident took place in the center of the Golan Heights in northern Israel. A siren sounded in the region. 

Shrapnel from the Patriot missiles landed in Ayelet Hashahar, a kibbutz in the north, lightly wounding a girl and causing brush fires, residents said.

During the Gaza war in the summer of 2014, Patriot missiles intercepted two drones, one near Ashdod and the other near Ashkelon. 

In September 2014, the IDF downed a Syrian fighter jet that crossed into Israel. Patriot missiles intercepted the jet 800 meters west of the border, on the Israeli side. The decision to down the plane was made within a minute and 20 seconds. It was hit on its way back to Syria. The Syrian pilots evidently managed to eject themselves from the plane and parachute into in Syrian territory.

In April of that year, an Israeli fighter jet downed a drone that entered Israel from Lebanon. It was shot down over Israel's territorial waters.