Israel downs drone in its airspace
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jihadi John, slashing terrorist, is unmasked as Briton
- Ukrainian sides pull heavy weapons from front in 11th-hour effort to comply with Minsk agreement
- Double bomb blasts kill 34 in Nigeria city
- U.S. says China preps more ship, airfield stations
- Judge rejects Argentina’s role in cover-up of Iran’s involvement in blast at Jewish center
- Islamic State reign of terror unabated in Syria
- Iraqi troops near strike to reclaim Tikrit
- Peace talks with Taliban set to begin, Afghan President Ghani says
- Ukraine’s currency continues nose dive
- Gunfire at restaurant that killed 8 an anomaly for Czech Republic
- Abducted Christians moved to ISIS stronghold