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Site of drone's downing Photo: Hiam Horenstein
Site of drone's downing Photo: Hiam Horenstein
 
 

Lebanese TV channel: Hezbollah behind drone mission

Hezbollah-affiliated channel Al-Mayadeen claims drone that infiltrated Israeli airspace belongs to Shiite terror group. Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad denies involvement

Elior Levy
Published: 10.07.12, 10:12 / Israel News

A Lebanese TV channel affiliated with Hezbollah reported Sunday that the drone that infiltrated Israeli airspace on Saturday belonged to the Shiite terror group.

 

According to a report in Al-Mayadeen, "the drone traveled 100 kilometers deep inside Israel and sparked tensions." Hezbollah has yet to comment on the report.

 

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Al-Mayadeen is the same channel that aired the video documenting the abduction of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. It is considered a rising force in Arab media and serves as an alternative to Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

 

Its founder, Tunisian journalist Ghassan bin Jiddo, is considered closely tied to Hezbollah and was the only journalist to interview Hassan Nasrallah during the Second Lebanon War.


אזור יירוט המל"ט, אתמול (צילום: חיים הורנשטיין)

Yatir forest where drone was shot down (Photo: Haim Hornstein)

 

On Saturday, most Arab media reports pointed to the Islamic Jihad as the likely force behind the launching of the drone. A senior official in the terror group denied any connection to the incident on Sunday.

 

However, a source close to the Islamic Jihad did not rule out the possibility that Gaza terror groups own a drone similar to the one Israel downed and noted they have the necessary experience on how to use it "for self-defense purposes in a conflict with Israel."

 

Meanwhile, defense officials estimate that the drone started its mission in Lebanon, most likely to gather intelligence and check the IDF's reaction. It is possible it was headed to the Dimona reactor.

 

Operating a drone by remote control from such a long distance requires advanced capabilities, which Israel was not aware Hezbollah had acquired.  

 

Israel is still considering its response.

 

Yonatan Gonen contributed to this report

 

 

 

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