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Israeli military downs drone over Negev

JTA

October 8, 2012 | 9:31 am

A still image taken from Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) video footage shows what they say is a small unidentified aircraft shot down in a mid-air interception after it crossed into southern Israel on Oct. 6. Photo by REUTERS/IDF via Reuters TV

A still image taken from Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) video footage shows what they say is a small unidentified aircraft shot down in a mid-air interception after it crossed into southern Israel on Oct. 6. Photo by REUTERS/IDF via Reuters TV

The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone that entered Israeli airspace.

The unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, was intercepted and shot down over the northern Negev on Saturday morning in an unpopulated area, according to the Israel Defense Forces. It had entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said the aircraft was identified before entering Israeli airspace and was downed in accordance with a decision of the IDF's top leaders.

The drone flew over the Gaza Strip but did not originate from there, the IDF said. The Israeli media reported that it could have originated in Lebanon, which in previous years has sent drones into Israeli airspace.

The UAV reportedly was not carrying explosives and may have been a surveillance drone.

Israeli soldiers were searching for the debris in order to identify from where the drone originated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night praised the IDF.

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