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Hezbollah acknowledges sending drone over Israel

Hezbollah acknowledged sending a drone over Israel, and claimed it was Iranian-made.

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An unidentified drone flew over Israel this weekend, heightening tensions with Iran. Here, an Israeli-made drone flies over India. (Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah admitted on Thursday that they were responsible for launching the drone which was shot down over Israel last week, according to the BBC.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told the group's television network that the drone was Iranian-made and flew over "sensitive sites" in Israel.

The acknowledgement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hezbollah for the drone, which was shot down by Israeli fighter planes north of the Negev desert.

"We are acting with determination to protect our borders," said Netanyahu during a visit near the border with Egypt, according to Agence France Presse. "As we prevented last weekend an attempt by Hezbollah, we shall continue to act aggressively against all threats."

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The drone flew 35 miles into Israel before it was shot down, Reuters reported. At the time, defense officials did not directly accuse the Iranian-backed Hezbollah of sending it.

Israel said the drone did not carry explosives, and appeared to be on a reconnaissance mission, according to the Associated Press.

Amos Gilad, the policy director of the Defense Ministry in Israel, said on Tuesday that the drone failed to retrieve any intelligence or harm the reputation of Israel's air defenses, according to The Jerusalem Post.

On Monday, an Iranian military official was quoted as saying the drone's incursion into Israeli airspace revealed weakness in Israel's air defenses.

Reuters noted that Hezbollah has launched a drone into Israel on one previous occasion.

Israel and Hezbollah fought an inconclusive war in 2006.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121011/hezbollah-acknowledges-sending-drone-o