The good news is that the system that is supposed to protect Israel’s skies works. The drone was detected while it was still flying over the Mediterranean Sea, a few minutes before 10 am. Four F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the drone even before it entered Gaza’s airspace.
The fighter jets’ radars also detected the UAV – a significant technological feat considering the fact that drones travels at a slow speed – and later used a heat-seeking missile to down the drone, which emits less heat than other, larger aircraft.
The fact that the drone was launched on a Saturday morning is not coincidental. Its operators apparently assumed that the level of alertness is lower on Saturday, when all kinds of civilian planes and hang gliders are in the air.
The bad news is that the drone, which apparently departed from Lebanon, flew over the sea for at least three hours, and did not raise enough suspicion in Israel until it approached Gaza’s coastline.