Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said it downed an Israeli drone Monday after it flew over the UN-demarcated Blue Line border, while Israel acknowledged an unmanned aircraft had crashed.
Hezbollah said it “downed a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy that had entered Lebanese airspace outside Blida” in southern Lebanon.
The Israel Defence Forces said that “during IDF operational activity along the Blue Line, an IDF drone fell in Lebanese territory.”
“There is no risk of breach of information,” it said.
The announcement came just 10 days after the Israeli army shot down an unmanned aircraft it said had entered its airspace from Lebanon.
In August 2020, Hezbollah also said it downed and seized an Israeli drone that flew into Lebanese airspace. Israel at the time also said the drone had “fallen.”
Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, and a United Nations force, UNIFIL, patrols the border between the two.
Set up in 1978, UNIFIL was beefed up after a month-long devastating war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah.
Hezbollah had in September 2019 vowed to down Israeli drones overflying Lebanon following an incident a month earlier when two drones packed with explosives targeted Hezbollah’s stronghold in south Beirut.
The group is the only side not to have disarmed following Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and it is also a powerful player in Lebanese politics with seats in parliament.