image Photo: GPO

Israel intercepts armed Iranian drone

An armed drone intercepted earlier this week in northern Israel was sent by Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that intelligence finding during a meeting with visiting-German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas yesterday.

The press conference at the IDF Central Command in Tel Aviv came just hours prior to the ceasefire of Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls against Gaza rocket attacks.

The Israeli leader said that he had described to Berlin’s top diplomat that “while we’re fighting on various fronts, the true backer of much of this aggression is Iran.”

“Iran not only supports completely the (Palestinian) Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza and gives them all the finance – they also give weapons to Hamas, as well as to Hezbollah – and they provide the scaffolding on which these organizations really work,” Netanyahu charged.

IDF forces intercepted the Iranian drone on the border between Israel and Jordan, as it was flying in the direction of the Emek HaMa’ayanot Regional Council on Tuesday.

At the time, residents of the nearby northern town of Beit She’an had been instructed to lock themselves in their homes for nearly an hour until the Israeli military declared the area had been secured. Fragments of the destroyed aircraft were collected for further analysis.

As he showed a large section of the debris to Minister Maas, Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic had deployed the armed drone from Iraq or Syria.

“I think says everything on the true patron of terror in the Middle East and in the world: Iran,” he stated.

Netanyahu described his meeting with Minister Maas as “very productive,” and said he expressed gratitude for Germany’s “unwavering position” of supporting Israel’s right to self-defense, which he said “comes from the heart. Not only representing the government but the people of Israel in our time of need. So thank you.”

German Foreign Minister Maas told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he had come to express his nation’s full solidarity with the people of Israel. Berlin, he said, condemned the aggression of Hamas – as responsible for the escalation – and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself.

Also participating in the meeting were National Security Council head Meir Ben Shabbat, German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer and Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff.

Germany’s Foreign Minister was joined by his counterparts from the Czech Republic Jakub Kulhánek and Slovakia Ivan Korčok, as well as an earlier visit by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, in visiting Israel to demonstrate unequivocal solidarity with the Jewish State in the wake of the Gaza escalation that began 10 May.