The Israeli military said it shot down a drone on Thursday, five nautical miles off the coast of its northern port of Haifa, after tracking it for an hour as it flew south along the Lebanese coast.
“Once we confirmed that it was not a friendly aircraft and it had entered Israeli airspace, Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft intercepted it with air-to-air missiles,” said Capt. Eytan Buchman, a spokesman for the Israeli military, who added that questions such as whether the drone was armed were being investigated.
Israeli analysts speculated the drone was more likely to have been on a surveillance mission, possibly to photograph sites like Israel’s off-shore gas fields or its chemical stores in Haifa. They also noted the small drone might not have had any operational purpose at all beyond testing Israel’s response or trying to embarrass the government.
For the complete story by Isabel Kershner of The New York Times, click here.