[QODLink]
Middle East
Israel downs unidentified drone
Spokeswoman for the military says Israeli systems on ground alerted the air force to the drone as it flew over Gaza.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2012 17:24
Israel has shot down drones entering its airspace in the past but such cases are rare [Reuters]

Israeli jets scrambled to intercept a drone that crossed into Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea, bringing it down without incident in the south of the country, a military spokeswoman said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leibovich said Israeli systems on the ground alerted the air force to the drone Saturday morning. She said it flew over the Gaza Strip but did not originate from the Palestinian territory.

She said Israel did not know the drone's starting point and an investigation was under way. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Leibovich did not give more details, but Israel media reported that the aircraft was not carrying explosives and could have been a surveillance drone.

Leibovich said the operation was successful and the military was in control throughout.

"We had monitoring contact from the ground and from the air," she said.

"We alerted jet planes that escorted the unmanned aerial vehicle and due to some operational considerations we decided to intercept the unmanned aerial vehicle in the northern Negev area, which has no population."

It is not the first time that Israel has shot down drones entering its airspace, but such cases are rare. The Lebanese group Hezbollah has launched several such aircrafts into Israel over the past few years.

In the 2006 war, Hezbollah launched an Iranian-made drone capable of carrying explosives into Israel that was shot down. 

Another drone two years earlier crashed in the Mediterranean.

Leibovich would not elaborate how the unmanned vehicle was brought down.

She said troops were searching for debris from the drone.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, congratulated the military.

"We view this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely and we will consider our response later," he said in a statement.

271

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.