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Lebanon’s Hezbollah shoots down intruding Israeli drone

An Elbit Systems Skylark I unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) of the Israeli army takes off near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on August 21, 2020, as part of monitoring operations in the area. / AFP / JACK GUEZ

The Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah says it has shot down an Israeli drone that had violated the country’s airspace.

The drone was downed near the border town of Aita al-Shaab, Hezbollah said in a statement.

It also said that the drone is currently in the possession of the resistance group.

The Israeli military later confirmed that the drone fell in the Lebanese territory, but added that there was no concern of information being leaked.

The shoot-down of the Israeli drone came one day after Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said the Lebanese resistance movement will neither allow Israel nor its sponsors the chance to launch an aggression against Lebanon, warning the Tel Aviv regime and its allies of a heavy price.

“We will neither give Israel nor anyone who recognizes it the opportunity to launch an attack without paying the price.  We will not capitulate to those who wish to rob us of our honor and victory… We want to protect Lebanon, its sovereignty and independence, whereas they [those who recognize Israel] do not care if Israel is still occupying our lands,” Sheikh Qassem said during a ceremony in the Lebanese capital Beirut late on Friday.

Lebanon's government, Hezbollah and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have repeatedly condemned Israel’s overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and the country's sovereignty.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which brokered a ceasefire in the war of aggression Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006, calls on Tel Aviv to respect Beirut's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In 2009, Lebanon filed a complaint with the UN, presenting over 7,000 documents pertaining to Israeli violations of Lebanese territory.

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