Jerusalem Post – Oct 14, 2012
The Hezbollah drone that infiltrated the Negev last week beamed back live images of secret Israeli military bases, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the drone was airborne for three hours before being intercepted by an F-16I jet. It is believed to have transmitted pictures of preparations for Israel’s joint military exercise with the US, as well as ballistic missile sites, airfields and, perhaps, the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the Sunday Times reported.
The report also stated the interception of the drone was “botched” when the first missile fired by the Israeli jet missed. The aircraft had traveled 200 miles, the program claimed.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah took credit on Thursday sending the drone aircraft into Israel on Saturday, saying in a televised speech on the Al- Manar station that it was Iranian-made and that it was shot down near the Dimona reactor.
“The drone flew over sensitive installations inside southern Palestine,” he said.
Nasrallah claimed the Ayoub drone was designed and manufactured in Iran and assembled in Lebanon, denying reports that the drone was a Russian design.
The Hezbollah leader said the drone was sent as a response to what he referred to as Israel’s violations of Lebanese airspace since 2006.
“This flight was not our first will not be our last, and we give assurances we can reach any point we want. We have the right to dispatch recon planes over occupied Palestine at any time,” Nasrallah said.
Earlier that day, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would “act with determination to defend its borders at sea, on air and land” just as it had “thwarted Hezbollah’s attempt over the weekend,” to send an unmanned aircraft into Israeli airspace.
Gil Hoffman and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.