Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Lebanese media say Israeli drone shot down over village by man with hunting rifle

The Israeli military only says the drone 'fell' over a Lebanese village near the heavily-guarded border

Investigators of Lebanon's military intelligence inspect the site after an alleged attack carried by two Israeli drones, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, 25 August 2019. EPA
Investigators of Lebanon's military intelligence inspect the site after an alleged attack carried by two Israeli drones, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, 25 August 2019. EPA

Lebanon's state-run news agency says a Lebanese man shot down an Israeli drone with a hunting rifle near the border village of Kfar Kila.

The Israeli military only says the drone "fell" over a Lebanese village near the heavily-guarded border "during routine security activity". The military declined to comment on the type of drone or the cause of the crash, which took place on Wednesday.

Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006.

Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, though the border has been mostly calm since that conflict.

A Lebanese government investigation concluded last month that two Israeli drones were on an attack mission when they crashed in Beirut in August.

In September, Hezbollah shot down an Israeli drone over Beirut to strengthen its deterrence against an all-out attack, the party’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said.

Hezbollah said it had shot down and taken an Israeli drone that was flying over South Lebanon.

“Despite all the threats and intimidation, today we are affirming the balance of power and reinforcing the deterrent force that protects our country,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

He vowed to strike back after the Beirut drone incident and an attack on fighters in Syria in late August.

Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles towards Israel to avenge the death of the two Hezbollah fighters in the strike near Damascus.

Israel responded by firing more than 100 shells towards Lebanon. Hezbollah is yet to respond.

Israel's drones and warplanes regularly breach Lebanese airspace despite authorities complaining to the UN.

Lebanese leaders unanimously condemned the Israeli drone attack against Hezbollah in south Beirut. They described it at the time as a clear breach of Lebanese sovereignty.

This year, Israel and Lebanon announced they were ready to sit down to negotiate their contested maritime border to pave way for oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. But negotiations have yet to start.

Updated: October 23, 2019 04:39 PM

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