Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 October 2020

Lebanon's Hezbollah says it brought down Israeli drone

Hezbollah said its fighters downed the drone near the town of Aita Al Shaab

Israeli soldiers stand next to an Israeli mobile artillery unit placed in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon. AP
Israeli soldiers stand next to an Israeli mobile artillery unit placed in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon. AP

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said on Saturday that it brought down and seized an Israeli drone that flew over the UN-demarcated Blue Line border.

The Israel military said that "earlier today, during ... operational activity along the Blue Line, a... drone fell in Lebanese territory".

"There is no risk of breach of information," it added.

Hezbollah said its fighters had downed the drone near the town of Aita Al Shaab.

Israel, which is technically at war with Lebanon, late last month said it had repelled an attempt by Hezbollah fighters to penetrate the border.

The Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah denied any involvement in the incident, which came after an alleged Israeli missile attack hit positions of Syrian government forces and their allies south of Damascus, killing five.

Hezbollah, whose fighters back Damascus in the nine-year Syrian civil war, at the time said one of its own was among the dead and promised to retaliate.

In September last year, Hezbollah vowed to shoot down Israeli drones over Lebanon following an incident a month earlier when two drones packed with explosives targeted Hezbollah's stronghold in south Beirut.

The United Nations Unifil peacekeeping force patrols south Lebanon along the un-demarcated border.

Set up in 1978, Unifil was beefed up after a month-long war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah.

The 10,500-strong force, in co-ordination with the Lebanese army, is tasked with monitoring a ceasefire and Israeli pullout from a demilitarised zone on the border.

Israel accuses Hezbollah of stockpiling weapons at the border to prepare for another war.

The last major confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel was the 34-day long 2006 war but skirmishes have followed.

After the drone incident in Beirut in September 2019, Hezbollah fired missiles at an Israeli military lorry. It claimed casualties but Israel denied anyone was wounded and responded by firing hundreds of shells into Lebanon.

Updated: August 23, 2020 09:35 PM

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