Drone flight shows Israel is vulnerable

2012-10-08 15:51

Dubai - The incursion by an unmanned aircraft into Israeli airspace at the weekend exposed the weakness of Israeli air defences, an Iranian military official was quoted as saying on Monday.

The Israeli air force shot down a drone on Saturday after it crossed into southern Israel, the military said, but it remained unclear where the aircraft had come from.

Jamaluddin Aberoumand, deputy co-ordinator for Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the incident indicated that Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile defence system "does not work and lacks the necessary capacity", Fars news agency reported.

The Iron Dome system, jointly funded with the United States, is designed to shoot down short-range guerrilla rockets, not slow-flying aircraft.

It intercepted more than 80% of the targets it engaged in March when nearly 300 rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel, the Pentagon said at the time.

The drone was first spotted above the Mediterranean near the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the west of Israel, said military spokesperson Avital Leibovich. An Israeli warplane shot it down above a forest near the occupied West Bank.

'Psychological operation'

Israeli parliament member Miri Regev, a former chief spokesperson of the military, wrote on Twitter it was an "Iranian drone launched by Hezbollah", referring to the Lebanese Shi'ite group that fought a war with Israel in 2006.

Israeli defence officials have not confirmed this.

Aberoumand attributed claims the drone was made by Iran to a "psychological operation" by Israel, but did not confirm or deny them. "The Zionist regime [Israel] has many enemies," he added.

On at least one occasion, Iranian-backed Hezbollah has sent a drone into Israeli airspace. And in 2010, an Israeli warplane shot down an apparently unmanned balloon in the Negev near the country's Dimona nuclear reactor.

The Israeli military released a 10-second video clip of what it said was Saturday's mid-air interception, showing a small aircraft just before a missile from a fighter jet destroys it.

Israel has threatened to bomb Iran's nuclear sites if diplomatic efforts fail to stop the nuclear work it believes is aimed at getting weapons capability, a charge Tehran denies.

Iran has responded with threats to attack US military bases in the region and retaliate against Israel if attacked.

  • roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-10-08 16:20

    Well I dunno, looked pretty effective to me? Whoosh..BANG done!

      mark.a.fysh - 2012-10-08 16:30

      Yeah,yeah - the Israeli's were so innefective they shot it down straight away!

      captaine.morgan.90 - 2012-10-08 16:32

      Imagine the damage a Nuke would have done for 20mins before the *Whoosh BANG* effect.

  • markus.esterhuyse - 2012-10-08 16:43

    No weapon formed against israel shall prosper! Her enemies will fall in their own swords! God will never leave her nor forsake her!

  • miquette.caalsen - 2012-10-08 16:45

    Why is Iran testing Israeli defensive capabilities? I'm not a military strategist but if it was just little ol' me I would consider that a serious provocation. And then people say leave Iran alone, Israel should stop being bullies. Maybe it is still my marvelously blue Monday but it looks like Israel may possibly have a point about Iran ...

      dylan.sciarappa - 2012-10-08 17:49

      Oh but Israeli and us incursions into Iran are not?

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-08 17:14

    By now iran's nukes are out of harms reach and they are just waiting for an appropriate time to deliver a bunch. They are mad enough to have a preemptive strike. They just want an excuse. Israel is a sitting duck. Suicide nukers just around the corner.

  • imtiyaza - 2012-10-16 22:18

    The zionist state has been invading Lebanese airspace on a virtual daily basis, a flagrant violation of the UN ceasefire. Now that Hizbollah has decided to resort to the same tactic they cry. Such a bunch of cowardly sissies who because of their inherent superiority complex has been playing at the school yard bully for too long. Now that their bully status are being challenged they want to run to ole mamma, the US.

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