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Report: Israel Believes Russian Drone Breach an Accident

The Times of Israel reports: An internal Israeli Air Force probe has concluded that a drone that entered Israeli airspace last month likely crossed the border as result of “human error,” the Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday.

The unmanned aerial vehicle entered northern Israel from Syria on July 17. The Israel Defense Forces attempted to shoot down the aircraft three times, but failed. Haaretz said Sunday the UAV belonged to Russia.

On Monday, the daily reported that Israel spoke to Russian air force operators seven times in the immediate aftermath of the incident. The Russians initially denied they sent the drone and only later admitted it was theirs.

The UAV was launched from a Russian-controlled base near Damascus. After it crossed the border, Israeli officials hurriedly called their Russian counterparts on the hotline established between the two countries to coordinate on Syria. But in seven phone calls over some 20 minutes, the Russians insisted they did not send the drone into Israeli territory.

After Israel established that it was not an Israeli drone, the order was given to shoot it down.

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