Hezbollah sent a reconnaissance drone into Israeli territory over northern Jewish settlements Sunday in the first hostile aerial incursion from Lebanon since a hang glider attack 17 years ago killed six soldiers.
The militant Islamic group said that the flight was in response to repeated Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace. It said it reached Israel's northern coastal city of Nahariya before returning to base. A Hezbollah statement faxed to The Associated Press said Islamic Resistance, the group's military wing, carried out the flight.
Hezbollah said it retrieved the drone safely, but Lebanon's largest TV station, LBC, quoted witnesses as saying the aircraft crashed into the sea.
Israel claimed the craft was Iranian-made, and the army confirmed that it penetrated Israeli airspace and flew over western Galilee.
The flight was believed to be the first hostile aerial incursion from Lebanon into Israel by guerrillas since Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command members sailed over in 1987 on a hang glider. They killed six soldiers before being shot dead.