Conflict & Justice

Israel suspects Iran of sending drone from Lebanon


An Israeli navy vessel and helicopter search for the wreckage of a drone which was shot down by the air force off Israel's northern coast on April 25, 2013.


Jack Guez

Israel has pointed the finger at Iran for launching an unmanned drone over its airspace last week from Lebanon.

The drone was shot down by an IDF F-16 jet west of the port city of Haifa on Thursday.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was flying at the time, and his helicopter was grounded until Israeli airspace was secured. 

"The Israeli military command doesn't treat drones launched from Lebanon lightly, since their goal may be not only taking pictures, but also an assassination of senior officials, military or political," an unnamed Western diplomat is quoted as saying in Lebanon's A-Nahar newspaper, the Telegraph reported

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is believed by some Israeli officials to be operating on the ground in Lebanon, where Israeli officials believe they are helping to shore up Hezbollah's drone capabilities, Ynet reported

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the drone incident, which the US reportedly requested that Israel not react to as to not divert attention from the chemical weapons discovery in Syria, according to Israel Hayom.

However, Israel has said it has not ruled Hezbollah out; in October 2012, the group successfully flew a drone over Israeli airspace. 

More from GlobalPost: Iran claims its drone took pictures of Israeli military sites