The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone that had penetrated deep into the country’s airspace according to the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson.
“An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was identified penetrating Israeli airspace this morning, and was intercepted by the IAF at approximately 10:00 AM,” said a release.
In an effort to identify the source of the unmanned vehicle, Israeli forces are now seeking to recover parts of now destroyed drone. “IDF soldiers are currently searching the area where the drone was downed, in open areas in the northern Negev, to locate and identify the drone,” wrote the IDF, in an email to reporters.
According to Israel daily Yediot Ahronot, Israeli security officials fear the drone which apparently originated in Lebanon and made its way down over the Mediterranean Sea before crossing into Israel, may have been headed towards Israel’s nuclear plant in Dimona. “One of the possibilities the security establishment is looking into is that the unmanned aircraft, which was apparently Iranian-made, was on its way to test the option of infiltrating the nuclear reactor in Dimona, perhaps even to examine the option of targeting the plant in a future conflict,” writes the paper.
Israeli leaders reacted strongly to the incident with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising that Israel would continue to defend itself, 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,” he said. Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied that the Jewish state may respond to the incident at a time of Israel’s choosing, saying that Israel views “this incident of attempting to enter Israeli airspace very severely and we will consider our response later.”
A video of the IAF shooting down the drone can be viewed below.