The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has denied a claim by Israeli military officials that the movement had sent an unmanned aerial vehicle(UAV) over the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Lebanese television Al-Manar made the announcement Thursday through a one-line statement flashed as an urgent news bar on its screen. Earlier in the day, the Israeli military said it shot down a UAV belonging to Hezbollah near the northern port of Haifa. A military spokeswoman said the drone was detected in Lebanese skies and was intercepted by an F-16 fighter jet, some nine kilometers (5 miles) off Haifa’s western coastline. A helicopter carrying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was visiting the Druze community in the north, was forced to land while the drone was intercepted. In a statement, Netanyahu said the incident was of “extreme gravity.” The Israeli navy is reportedly searching for the wreckage of the drone in the sea. Last October, a UAV sent by Hezbollah flew deep into Israel before being downed by an Israeli missile.