Beirut: A drone flown by Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has managed to cross into northern Israel on a 40-minute "reconnaissance mission", triggering air defences and the scrambling of fighter jets before returning to Lebanon.
Earlier this week, its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, said his militant faction had been manufacturing military drones in Lebanon and had the technology to turn thousands of missiles in their possession into precision-guided munitions.
"Despite the enemy's multiple and successive attempts to shoot it down, the 'Hassan' plane returned from the occupied territories safely," it said.
The incident comes just a day after Israel shot down what it said was another drone, allegedly from Hezbollah, that had crossed into its airspace.
The Israeli military said in its statement that the incursion set off air raid sirens in the north of the country, and that Iron Dome interceptors were deployed and fighter jets were patrolling the skies.
"After a few minutes, radar contact was lost with the aircraft," it said, adding that the event was under investigation and that "civilian life in northern Israel has returned to routine".
Hours later and roughly 100 kilometers to the north, a thundering roar was heard in Lebanese capital Beirut, caused by an Israeli fighter jet flying at very low altitude, jolting residents, rattling windows and setting off some car alarms.
The noise reminded residents of the huge 2020 port explosion. Israel's military said Hezbollah's radio-controlled drone had set off air raid sirens in the Galilee region of northern Israel warning residents to take cover.
"Aerial defence systems identified and tracked the threat along with helicopters and fighter jets that were dispatched," it said, adding that its Iron Dome defence system had tried to intercept the drone but it made it back.