Pictures of an Israeli F-35 stealth fighter flying over Beirut were shown on the Wednesday night broadcast of Israel Television News.
On Tuesday, Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said Israel is the first country in the world to carry out an "operational attack" with the F-35 jet. Norkin was speaking at a three-day conference organized by the IAF in Herzliya, to which senior officers from air forces from all over the world were invited.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said the military was not behind the release of the pictures and they were not intended for publication.
At the conference, Norkin presented images of the F-35 in the skies over Beirut and said that the stealth fighter did not participate in the most recent strike in Syria, but did in two previous attacks.
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Since the large-scale attacks on Iranian targets in Syria at the beginning of the month, the IDF has chosen to demonstrate restraint. Norkin’s comments at the conference and the presentation of the photos to foreign officers and the media mark a change in this approach and it is possible that the goal was to demonstrate Israel’s aerial superiority over Iran and Hezbollah.