IAF shoots down drone over Negev – was its target Dimona?

IAF shoots down drone over southern Israel

IAF shoots down drone over southern Israel (picture from IAF video)

The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone flying over southern Israel on Shabbat.

The aircraft was shot down by two F-16I jets in an open area in the northern Negev region, and its remains were scattered in an open area in the south Mount Hebron region. Army forces were alerted to the scene in order to collect the remains in hopes of identifying the drone, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

According to an initial investigation, the drone penetrated Israeli airspace at around 10 am after flying over the Mediterranean Sea, near Gaza. The Air Force detected the drone as it approached Gaza’s coastline, and F-16I fighter jets were scrambled from the Ramon army base in the Negev to shoot it down.


The IDF estimates that the unmanned aircraft did not depart from the Gaza Strip. The aircraft’s country of origin has not yet been confirmed. It flew over Israel for less than 30 minutes and did not carry any explosives on it.

Here’s a short video of the IAF shooting down the drone (h/t Algemeiner‘s twitter feed):

The Israeli defence establishment is rumoured to be voicing concerns that the drone’s intended mission was to spy on the Dimona nuclear research facility.

Israeli security officials are reportedly examining the possibility that a drone shot down deep in Israeli territory on Saturday may have been despatched in a Hezbollah-Iranian operation and may have been sent to surveil the Dimona nuclear site.

The army was still examining the remains of the downed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Saturday night and had released no official information about its investigation. But Israeli media reports suggest officials fear the drone may have been part of a larger operation to spy on strategic sites inside the country.

According to the Hebrew website Ynet, defense officials are examining the possibility that the drone was sent as part of an Iranian-backed operation meant to photograph the Dimona nuclear installation, home to Israel’s nuclear weapon program according to foreign media reports.

The drone reportedly originated in Lebanon, but took a circuitous route through the Mediterranean sea and around Israeli territorial waters before turning east and flying over Gaza and into Israel, according to reports on Israel Radio and in Maariv.

That route may have been designed to conceal the origin of the  unmanned aircraft, or to evade Israeli detection. Nonetheless, the army reported that it began tracking the plane while it was still over the sea and shot it down over the Yatir forest, on the edge of the southern Negev desert, after it reached an unpopulated area.

No time like the present to get that shul in Dimona up and running. We need all the protection we can get.

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31 Responses to IAF shoots down drone over Negev – was its target Dimona?

  1. Aridog says:

    Good job. Now let us in the US of A hope it wasn’t a US surveillance drone.

    Don’t know why that occurred to me, but it did.

    The US State Department is currently forming a committee to deterine IF there was a security failure in Benghazi…in respons eeto US Congress inquiry.


    Ambassador Stevens and three others suggest there is NO frigging “IF?!

    I no longer even slightly trust my own government officials and won’t begin to unless the administration changes.

    Do NOT trust us.

    • anneinpt says:

      Now let us in the US of A hope it wasn’t a US surveillance drone.

      It seems pretty certain now that it was a Hezbollah drone, which is one less worry for you Aridog, and one more for us.


      I no longer even slightly trust my own government officials and won’t begin to unless the administration changes.

      Do NOT trust us.

      Agreed. Or rather, we shouldn’t trust your administration. If it was led by you and people like you I’d trust you with my eyes blindfolded.

      Here’s your former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, having another swing at Israel:
      Gates: no blank check from the US to Israel to attack Iran

      Elliot Abrams: Bob Gates – there he goes again.

      • Aridog says:

        Robert Gates is the almost perfect example of what I have referred to as the institutionalized senior executives in federal government. He is a stalking horse of the first order. Primarily an *academic* with a PhD in Russian/Soviet/China relations, he was called to executive service by President Reagan and has never been far from seats of power ever since. When I’ve said in the past that these senior executives, that actually run our government and country, are embedded and never leave…Gates is what I mean. There are hundreds more at various levels. Periodically they bounce from SES service to some Board of Directors (of a firm that supplies government with something) to Chancellorship of some college, then back to government senior service….it is musical chairs, but one in which their is always a chair reserved for them.

        These guys are not reliable allies for anyone, as they tack randomly as the winds of influence shift. A couple more names you might recognize….Rumsfeld and Cheney….both dating back to the Nixon White House.

        This phenomena almost makes our elections ludicrous. It will take a very strong individual mentally to make any significant change. They will need to literally slash 50% of all Senior Exectuive Service position and 50% of all Flag or General rank military positions to even get a start. Does anyone actually believe we need over 800 Admirals and Generals with our greatly down sized military today? The vast majority of these senior officers are cake eating chair squatters who write rules to assure their own continuance….best example of late are the ludicrous camouflage battle dress uniforms the Army & Air force have come up with in the past 3 years. A pure clown show and huge waste of money.

        The American government beast must first be disemboweled and deprived of its intestinal support. I’m not kidding a bit about the 50% part …the fact is if they cut them today, by tomorrow, no one would notice the absence. I watched as my own little part of the Army re-organize itself in to an inverted management pyramid…and no contrary opinions from field personnel were welcomed, and if submitted, cut off. I guarantee you that the two senior layers of “management” over my previous organizational element, the layers between the Commanding General of it all and the actual service delivery elements, could be cut 95% tomorrow and the day after no one would notice, and service delivery would improve.

        Until we Americans regain control of our government, do NOT trust us. We don’t.

        It makes me sick to say any of this. There are thousands of good people, civil service and solider/military who do a spectacular job. But they are not leading the parade…as Ambassador Stevens and 3 other Americans could testify to, if they were alive and not abandoned to death at the hands of savages we KNEW were coming for them.

  2. cba says:

    This morning’s news just said it was a HizbAllah drone, and investigations are continuing to see if Iran was involved.

    My reaction on hearing the second bit was the same as Aridog’s (albeit to a different “if”) 🙂

    • anneinpt says:

      Yeah, that “if” gets me every time. Like when a murderer is found standing over his victim, bloody axe in hand, and he is called “the alleged murderer” in the press.

    • Aridog says:

      I’m happy somebody official thinks it was a Hizballah drone. I think it might be a drone from Lichtenstein or The Land of OZ for that matter.

      Now explain to me how Hizballah designs and builds drone aircraft? Let alone have the resources internally to utilize a surveillance drone?

      So whose drone is it really?

      • annediamond1 says:

        Sent from Samsung mobile Anne’s Opinions wrote: Aridog commented: “I’m happy somebody official thinks it was a Hizballah drone. I think it might be a drone from Lichtenstein or The Land of OZ for that matter.

        Now explain to me how Hizballah designs and builds drone aircraft? Let alone have the resources internally ”

      • anneinpt says:

        Knowing it’s Iranian and proving it are two different things, especially in diplo-speak.

        • Aridog says:

          **Diplo-speak” is what got the USA in to the mess we’re in today. I think the prompt over flight of Hizballah sites in Lebanon was a smart maneuver and strong indicator of where the IDF thinks the drone came from. The IDF/IAF has shot down drones before that had “Hizballah” markings on it. I’d have been even more delighted if the IDF/IAF had just flat out leveled a couple Hizballah strong points to emphasize the point….but that’s just armchair crap from me, who doesn’t live where the reaction would occur. In short, pay no attention.

          However, Hizballah doesn’t have the resource & capability to build drones. They have to be from Iran or other proxy supplier. The enemy is Iran, both to Israel and to the USA. Iran is busily installing lord knows what gear in Venezuela as we speak….a half dozen drones are known to be there from Iran. If Iran manages to assemble a crude fission atomic device like “Little Boy” and build a few…you and we can bet our dearly beloved butts that Iran will plant them in Venezuela and perhaps elsewhere in South or Central American. We are heading for a re-dux of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this time with crazy people. Really crazy people.

          When I hear people argue that Iran is no threat to the USA I’m reminded of those days in October 1962. “Baby Boomers” weren’t quite old enough yet in those days to realize how serious the threat was…but I am. I had friends who were called up, out of college, from Reserves and ROTC (a scholarship source in those days) to units on both the west and east coasts, in preparation for war. Nobody was joking.

          Americans like to kid themselves, until they get a bloody nose. The USA is Iran’s primary political target now and always has been since 1979. Israel is the ideological target and will be attacked simultaneously if the USA is attacked, even nominally without major losses, or vice versa. They will be attacked together. For the US government to try to be aloof is suicidal. We have a suicidal President at the moment, backed by a government of institutionalized executives who won’t recognize a threat on any horizon until the land around their home glows in the dark.

          I say “without major losses” gingerly in reference to over all populations. “Little Boy”, a crude gun barrel type fission device, untested before being dropped on Hiroshima, killed 100,000+ people in one blast. It is well within Iran’s capability. Little Boy carried about 60+ kilograms of U-235 Uranium, of which merely one kilogram achieved fission. Anyone who thinks Iran can’t or won’t build new Little Boys is nuts. Period.

          • anneinpt says:

            I’d have been even more delighted if the IDF/IAF had just flat out leveled a couple Hizballah strong points to emphasize the point….

            You and me and 7 million other Israelis too.

            but that’s just armchair crap from me, who doesn’t live where the reaction would occur.

            Yeah, that’s the only drawback – the potential reaction.

            I appreciate your insight into the American standpoint, and I agree with your assessment that the US is the major target of Iran – and also that the Americans won’t understand this until it’s almost too late. Pretty scary.

  3. annediamond1 says:

    all I can say thast Israel must be the safest place on earth its reaction is so good.

    • anneinpt says:

      Well, I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the safest place on earth, but certainly we have one of the best, if not THE best, armies and air force in the world. Plus a lot of help from Heaven.

  4. Rob Harris says:

    A disturbing development considering the situation with Iran. I wonder has Syria any involvement too since they seem keen on sending some of their chemical weapons to the Hizzy’s in Lebanon?

    • anneinpt says:

      I would highly doubt it. They have enough on their plate without getting Israel involved, even though they are suspected of moving some or all of their chem weapons to Hezbollah. Hezbollah is much more openly and massively supported by Iran than Syria.

    • Aridog says:

      Not sure I doubt Syria’s involvement to some degree. They are in turmoil right now and crazy makes people do irrational things.

  5. Rob Harris says:

    Anne, you’re is probably right because the state officials (as per the reports) would have the knowledge to make a well educated guess but like Ari I do wonder at Syria’s current actions. Its bizarre that they have been going out of their way to provoke Turkey in the knowledge NATO may get involved. It is almost as if they are trying to provoke a broader war which may give them an excuse to lash out at the West and Israel, and lead to Iran’s involvement. They might even think the Arab world will unite with them! The metaphor of a wounded animal might be apt in this case.

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve certainly got a good point there Rob, and Aridog too re Syria. But I still think this drone smells more of Iran than Syria, although it’s pure guesswork on my part. I imagine (I hope!) the IDF knows rather than guesses the origin of the drone.

      • Aridog says:

        And …. Here We Go!! Yee Haw!!

        Can’t wait to see the Rules of Engagement laid down by Tweedledee General Dempsey and his friends….like no American may take lethal defensive action unless the person(s) attacking him has struck him or her thrice upside the head with a pole ax….and then they must respond with courtesy.

        Short version: Here we are, Al Qaeda…ATTACK US NOW.

        • anneinpt says:

          Wow! That one has flown right under the radar here. I don’t think I’ve read about any of that in the Israeli press. What next?

          • Aridog says:

            Actually, if any Americans were looking … we have our military deployed in about 150 countries world wide. No much can go wrong that doesn’t blow up in our faces somehow. Here’s an interactive map you can play with to find US military folk. Of course it changes month to month, and Iraq is wound down now to near zero effective 2012. Still, given our overall active military strength is 1.4+ million, we are spread quite thin.

  6. annediamond1 says:

    Thank G-D nobody was hurt, there was a keen eye,

  7. Rod starns says:

    I think a lot of Israelis are naieve and ungrateful to the USA .was it really God who helped to defeat the Nazis and the Japs after the attack on pearl harbour?
    and is it God who suples the IDF with the best military technology without which they would be like sitting ducks ?.so you cant trust the USA ? and have to bitch about their lack of commitment
    to your security ?
    perhaps what you really want is the USA to garantee to protect you if you start world war 3 by attacking Iran ?

    • Aridog says:

      Rod …apologies in advance for an epistle, but you hit a button here…

      You are mixing generations, let alone figs versus pineapples. I am an American, a veteran, of both installation service and combat service, CONUS and OCONUS, a Christian, and find your viewpoint naive and self serving, let alone historically false. You refer to WWII, a period when Americans were not inclined what-so-ever to aid our allies, other than the President’s efforts to provide arms and logistics. His greatest hours weren’t anything to do with the New Deal, it was his recognition of the pending storm of war and trying to do something….and to remain effective, he had to outright lie to the public to secure election. It is not a new phenomena in US politics….this conflict between principle and naive wishful thinking.

      It isn’t Israelis saying “don’t trust the USA” on this blog, it is me, albeit with some concurrence after wards.

      I am no Israeli, let alone Jewish, given my bleach white Irish lineage, current Catholic belief system (with limits), and generally violent testy, previously atheistic, nature. My first military allegiance is to the US military, then to the ROK, whom I have served with, and IDF, on principle asnd their proven capability. (Pssst: those who know me and who might be surprised by my “Catholic” orientation of late, said first here, email me and I will expand on it..otherwise it is of no significance to the conversation).

      The US didn’t declare against Germany, the Third Reich declared war against us, following 07 Dec 1941…our Congress and populace merely concurred with an already demonstrated world condition, subsequently. We first declared War against Japan, of course, who was an ally of the Third Reich. Not exactly defending the world or any single nation, even our own, is the truth of that period. My family has a ,long history in fighting in our wars, from 1776 until Vietnam, my Great Grandfather’s Civil War cavalry saber hangs of the desk I am writing from this moment….his “red scarf” emblematic of his unit (NY 15th VC) long ago rotted away. You might recall that scarf symbol, LTC Custer is said to have worn it at the Little big Horn. I was not raised, nor educated , to take war lightly. If and when global war comes again it won’t be because we defended anyone, it will be because we didn’t. The ROE’s in Afghanistan have reached the condescending absurd, just as the excuses for no guard in Benghazi…even if we manage to have one in Vienna, Austria, et al., or even for an unelected White House advisor.

      We were liberal minded appeasers then, and it brought us a World War. Now you suggest if we do otherwise the result will be different? You might even think that Einstein is the author of that concept when it was actually Rita Mae Brown in her book “Sudden Death” published in 1983…quoted here: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” It could be attributed to a fallacy in the scientific method. Similar concept is continuing to dig a hole while standing in it and expecting the digging to help you get out. In short, if a WW III is coming, it will no more be Israel’s doing than that of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in WW I.

      There is a considerable difference between “Americans” and “American Governments”. Up front, let me assure you that no sane Israeli is presuming the United States will protect them any more than we or the British did in 1938-1944. They only dream we would actually live up to our principles. They are aware the USA and Israel share technologies … and they’ve proven forbearance, such as not responding to missile attacks by Iran during Desert Storm. Fact is the only time the US Military has intervened directly in an Israeli fight was under President Eisenhower and that was against Israel, (and Britian and France) not with Israel.

      At the moment we Americans have a government of deceit and appeasement, and if the affair de Benghazi didn’t reveal that to you, nothing will. Last night we had the Vice President of the United States tell the multiple millions of us watching that the government, meaning the senior executive branches, did not know that the Benghazi violence wasn’t caused by a video clip published over two months prior. I knew the video had nothing to do with it the day it happened, and said so in recorded form. How did I do that? Hint: like others with a bit of experience in being shot at, I know an attack with mortars (6 were fired) and RPG’s, plus the ubiquitous AK-47’s, do not occur in spontaneous protests….especially of things already 2+ months old in the news. A mortar crew is from 3 men (60mm) to 5 men (81 or combloc 82 mm) and requires serious precise coordination and advance planing to hit a purported “secret”: target with indirect fire….e.g., an enemy already inside the wire so to speak.

      A book I suggest you find and read is “Decent Interval” by Frank Snepp vis a vis 30 April 1975. We are heading to that event sequence once again. Really. The Obama effigies in various countries do not imply a “re-set” of friendly foreign relations. It flags failure.

      Actually, the senior executives, cabinet and Executive office stuck to the video clip story for over a week…including our senior military commander, one notch below the President, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, who persisted in the video cause theory and even called up a nondescript phony preacher, with a 29+/- person following, to request he cease support of the video. Said preacher is known only for his provocative attempts to incite violence in the name of American Christianity. I am an American Christian and he doesn’t speak for me…and General Dempsey’s pandering to him is as weak kneed as a mighty military can get.

      The video as cause story is a bold faced lie. VP Biden says the government didn’t know that on 9/11/2012 ….then explain to me how I knew that on 9/11/2012. If you track my comments back to that date you will notice I said so very shortly after the news broke….here and on other sites.

      • anneinpt says:

        Aridog, thanks for your brilliant reply and rebuttal. I wonder how much of your words will sink into Rod’s brain and give him an education for the first time in his life.

    • anneinpt says:

      @Rod Starns, Aridog has replied to you thoroughly and comprehensively. I just want to add a couple of points from the Israeli point of view.

      1. Regarding the 2nd World War and the defeat of the Nazis, did you know that the United States had extremely severe restrictions on accepting Jewish refugees during the entire period. How many hundreds of thousands of Jews would be alive today if only the Americans, along with Canada and dozens of other countries, had only opened their doors to the terrified fleeing Jews of Europe?

      Sure, America helped in defeating the Nazis, but they left the British to fight the Nazis for 2 years alone. And there was no Israel at the time. If there had been, there wouldn’t have been a Holocaust.

      2. Certainly the US supplies Israel with lots of technology and military equipment, for which Israel is not only grateful but pays for it. Do you also expect unbridled gratitude and loyalty from Egypt for the military help it receives? Or from Jordan? Saudi Arabia anyone? Or is it only the one Jewish country in the world whose “gratitude” and “loyalty” is questioned?

      3. What if by NOT attacking Iran, World War III starts? Have you considered that option? If Israel leaves Iran alone, do you honestly expect that Iran will not try to attack Israel with its nukes at some point? If you do you are the one who is both naive and a fool.


      perhaps what you really want is the USA to garantee to protect you if you start world war 3 by attacking Iran ?

      No, what we want is the USA to help us defeat the Iranian enemy, whose main target is the USA itself – the “Great Satan” – not Israel, who is considered “the little Satan”. Do you want Israel to come to your aid instead?

  8. Aridog says:

    Typo correction: “… missile attacks by Iran ” …should have been “Iraq.”

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