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Hezbollah flies unmanned plane over Israel

Israel says 'it will act to ensure the security of its citizens'


BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Hezbollah sent an unmanned reconnaissance plane over Israeli airspace Sunday, the Lebanon-based group and the Israeli military said.

"This morning an Iranian UAV [unmanned air vehicle] operated by the Hezbollah terror organization infiltrated into Israel over the western Galilee," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

"This incident is a part of the terrorist activity carried out by the Hezbollah terrorist organization with the support of Iran and Syria and under the auspices of Lebanon, with the aim of targeting Israeli citizens."

The United States also considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The group has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks against civilians.

Hezbollah says its primary aim is to drive all Israeli forces out of Lebanon -- including the prevention of Israeli aerial maneuvers over Lebanon.

In a statement released in Beirut, Hezbollah said Sunday's flight was "in line with the natural retaliation for the continuous violations of the Lebanese airspace" by Israel.

The plane flew as far as the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya, the Hezbollah statement said.

"As of this morning, the ... plane will fly in the airspace of occupied Palestine whenever the Islamic resistance sees fit, and it is a form of legitimate confrontation to the Zionist violations of Lebanese sovereignty."

The IDF said the aerial maneuver was "further evidence of the lack of control of the Lebanese government of activities carried out from within its territory, something which may cause harm to Lebanon and its citizens.

"The state of Israel views gravely any infiltration into its sovereign territory from the air, sea or by land, and will act to ensure the security of its citizens."

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