Israel said a military drone crashed in southern Lebanon on Sunday as cross-border tensions ran high following the killing of a Hezbollah militant in an Israeli airstrike in Syria last week.
The military said the drone went down over Lebanese territory "during operational activities" along the border and "there is no concern that any information was leaked". Channel 12 reported that the drone crashed after it experienced a technical failure.
Israel has beefed up its troop presence along the borders with Lebanon and Syria since Friday's strikes on Syrian army positions. Israel says those strikes were in response to unspecified munitions fired on the Golan Heights.
The exchanges came after Monday's air raid on Damascus - believed to have been carried out by Israel - that killed five foreign fighters, including a member of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.
The Israeli military issued the statement shortly after Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with army brass near the country's northern frontier. Durin the visit, Gantz said Israel will continue to prevent Iran's entrenchment in Syria and also warned "those who test us," hinting at Hezbollah.
“We will continue to ensure our security interests, which include removing Iranian entrenchment in Syria, blocking the transfer of advanced weapons, and preventing the development of precision-guided missiles anywhere in the region — in Syria or in Lebanon,” he said.
According to Gantz, "the situation in Lebanon and Syria is bad - economically, coronavirus and infrastructure wise."
"I remind Syria and Lebanon that they are responsible for all that happens within their boundaries and around them, and we will demand this responsibility to be upheld," he added.
"We are not looking for unnecessary flareups, but those who test us will be met with our superior capabilities."
Hezbollah’s deputy chief, however, appeared to ignore Gantz's warnings and remained vague on whether the group will retaliate over the death of its fighter.
"The rules for retaliation against Israel remains the same and we do not wish to change it," said Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qasim said. “We’re used to Israeli threats, they do not offer us a new political vision and we will not be dragged by them into an incident,” he added.
“Should Israel decide to go to war with us, then we will confront them, with the 2006 [Second Lebanon] War for our the model of resistance,” Qasim told Hezbollah's own al-Mayadeen TV.