Israeli intelligence and air force waged a cyber battle Saturday, Oct. 6 with unidentified parties, most likely Hizballah or Iran, who sent a satellite-guided unmanned helicopter into Israeli air space through the Mediterranean. DEBKAfile’s military sources report exclusively that for 30 minutes, as the helicopter flew over southern Israel, control swung back and forth between Israeli cyber operators and unknown agents.
The battle was finally resolved by an Israel decision to scramble four F-16 fighters to shoot the trespasser down, the while Israeli cyber experts tried to identify its satellite controller.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a statement saying that Israel takes a very grave view of the incursion and will weigh its response.
DEBKAfile reported earlier Saturday, straight after the incident:
Israeli air force jets were scrambled Saturday, Oct. 6 to shoot down a small unmanned aircraft from Gaza. It was downed over the Yatir forest in the southern Mt. Hebron district after cutting across southern Israeli airspace. It crashed at around 1000 local time. Israeli troops are scouring the area in search of fragments.
DEBKAfile’s military sources reports that the unmanned plane was sent over Israeli airspace at the start of a military mobilization exercise conducted by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It is coordinated with Hizballah and sponsored by Iran. The Lebanese terrorist group may have helped Hamas launch the aerial vehicle, which came in from the west.