Israel Downs Drone Near West Bank

Aircraft flew in from Mediterranean Sea near the Gaza Strip

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2012 1:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – Israel shot down an unwanted visitor this morning: a drone that flew in from the Mediterranean Sea, the Jerusalem Post reports. The Israeli military first noticed the aircraft near the Gaza Strip and followed it with air force jets as it moved about 35 miles east across the Negev desert, over settlements and military bases. The air force waited until the drone was above an unpopulated forest near the West Bank before shooting it down.

The military said today it plans to figure out the drone's flight path, source of origin, and the nature of its mission—whether to gather intelligence or target Israeli military compounds and towns, reports Haaretz. Similar incidents have occurred before: In 2004, one flew in from Lebanon and later crashed into the Mediterranean en route back home. And two years ago, the military shot down a balloon that was passing over the Dimona nuclear reactor.

This image made from video released by the Israeli Defense Forces shows the downing of a drone that entered Israeli airspace in southern Israel, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.
This image made from video released by the Israeli Defense Forces shows the downing of a drone that entered Israeli airspace in southern Israel, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Israeli Defense Forces via AP video)
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