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Iran is testing Israel.
Over the weekend, as Hamas fired rockets into southern Israel, the Israeli Air Force, (IAF), successfully shot down a drone that had unlawfully penetrated her airspace from the north and through the Mediterranean Sea. The drone flew nearly the entire length of the country as two Israeli F-16 fighter jets “escorted” the aircraft on its journey down the coast before destroying it in the northern Negev Desert.
Meanwhile, Israeli defense officials estimate that the drone started its mission in Lebanon. Operated by Hizballah, the Israeli government believes the drone was there to gather intelligence and to demonstrate Israel’s vulnerability to attacks from Iran.
The drone, sources suggest, was made in Iran, and is believed to have been transmitting photographs back to the Iranian military. Operating an unmanned aerial vehicle, UAV, by remote control from lengthy distances requires advanced capabilities. Knowing that Hizballah has acquired this level of competence is new and valuable information.
A Patriot missile battery has since been deployed in Israel’s northern region. The Patriot system can intercept aerial vehicles as well as medium-range ballistic missiles.
This latest drone activity represents a provocative move by Iranian leaders – particularly now since Hizballah, (the Party of God), a Shi’ite terrorist organization founded and funded by the Shi’ite nation of Iran since 1982, generally acts in accordance with the demands of the Iranian regime.
A Beirut-based pan-Arab television station Al-Mayadeen, with links to Hizballah, celebrated the drone’s penetration inside the Jewish state. Unlawfully entering another sovereign state’s airspace is considered an act of war.
We await Israel’s response.