Israel’s army said Monday it intercepted a drone presumed to belong to Lebanon’s Hezbollah group that crossed into the Jewish state’s northern airspace.
“Soldiers spotted and intercepted a drone that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory,” an army statement said, adding that the drone “likely belongs” to the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement.
Earlier this month, the army said it intercepted three drones launched by Hezbollah that were headed towards the Karish offshore gas field in the Mediterranean.
Another Hezbollah drone “which approached Israel’s economic waters” was downed in late June, according to the army.
Israel fought a devastating war with Hezbollah in 2006 and regards the group as one of its principal enemies.
Lebanon and Israel remain technically at war and have no diplomatic relations. UN peacekeepers patrol the border.
Lebanon had condemned Israel last month when a vessel chartered by Israel and operated by London-listed energy firm Energean entered the Karish offshore field.
Hezbollah at the time warned Energean against proceeding with its activities.
The two countries resumed negotiations on their maritime border in 2020, but the process was stalled by Beirut’s claim that the map used by the United Nations in the talks needed modifying.
Lebanon initially demanded 860 square kilometres (330 square miles) of waters it said were in dispute but then asked for an additional 1,430 square kilometres (552 square miles), including part of the Karish field.
Israel claims that the field lies in its waters and is not part of the disputed area subject to ongoing negotiations.