TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel downs drone in its airspace

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 6:06 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Israel scrambled fighter jets to intercept a drone on Saturday that crossed deep into Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea, shooting the aircraft down over the country's southern desert, the military said.

The incident marked the first time in at least six years that a hostile aircraft has penetrated Israel's airspace, and Israeli officials said they were taking the incident seriously, raising the possibility of retaliatory action.

It was not immediately clear who launched the drone, but suspicion quickly fell on the Lebanese Islamic militant group Hezbollah. The Iranian-backed group is known to have sent drones into Israeli airspace on several previous occasions.

Tensions are running high between Iran and Israel over Tehran's nuclear program, which the West believes is cover for the development of atomic weapons. The Islamic Republic denies the allegations and says its program is for peaceful purposes only.

Israel has threatened to carry out a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from acquiring such weapons.

Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said Israeli ground systems detected the drone, which flew over the Gaza Strip but did not originate there, on Saturday morning. They alerted the air force, which scrambled the jets to intercept the aircraft. She said Israel was still trying to determine where the drone took off from. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that Israel views “this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely and we will consider our response later,” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel “will continue to defend our borders in the sea, on the land and in the air for the security of the citizens of Israel.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers notebook: No-huddle gets limited use vs. Texans
  2. Penguins notebook: Bortuzzo feeling ‘really, really good,’ but still out of lineup
  3. Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
  4. Police: New Ken drug suspect, Brandon Allen, used wrong name
  5. Bomb threat found at Franklin Regional High School
  6. Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
  7. I-79 north repaving work to create detours tonight in Cranberry
  8. Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
  9. Officials identify witness to Port Authority bus crash after releasing photo
  10. 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament
  11. Buffalo Township grandma pleads guilty to selling hundreds of pounds of weed
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.