A Whole New Kind Of Threat
Israel has long been considered an
innovator in UAV technology. So imagine Jerusalem's surprise when
the Israel Defense Force spotted a UAV flying over northern Israel
-- and realized it wasn't theirs.
In fact, the unmanned aircraft was launched by Hezbollah
guerrillas based in northern Lebanon. Dubbed "Mirsad 1" (Mirsad
means "ambush"), the UAV apparently penetrated as far south as
Nahariya Sunday night and was recovered by Hezbollah back in
Israeli officials warned that the UAV was actually built by
Hezbollah's Iranian backers, with help from Syria.
"This qualitative and new achievement by the Islamic Resistance
in Lebanon comes as part of a natural response to the Zionist
enemy's repeated and permanent violations of Lebanese airspace,"
said a statement attributed to Hezbollah. "Starting today, we will
send our planes as we please."
At least one witness told Israel Radio that he saw the
"It looked like a small remote-controlled plane with a
relatively small wingspan. I heard the plane's engine. It flew at
an altitude of about 80 meters over our house in a southerly
direction," said Eli Paz, who lives in Shlomi.
Of course, with the advent of UAVs comes the possibility that
guerrillas sympathetic to the Palestinian cause might develop UCAVs
-- unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
"Theoretically they could do this," said Eitan Ben-Eliahu, a
former IAF commander. "But it is very complicated to prepare and
operate it and then dispatch it to the correct target. So best not
to scare the public with this fantasy," he told Israel Radio.
Still, Israelis from now on will be closely watching the skies for
little planes that go buzz in the night.
Official Israel Defense Forces Statement
This morning an Iranian UAV
(unmanned air vehicle) operated by the Hezbollah terror
organization infiltrated into Israel over the western Galilee.
This incident is a part of the terrorist activity carried out by
the Hezbollah terrorist organization with the support of Iran and
Syria and under the auspices of Lebanon, with the aim of targeting
This is further evidence of the lack of control of the Lebanese
government of activities carried out from within its territory,
something which may cause harm to Lebanon and its citizens.
The State of Israel views gravely any infiltration into its
sovereign territory from the air, sea or by land, and will act to
ensure the security of its citizens.