Media sources have reported that although Israel's defence establishment has refrained from revealing details of the drone shot down in the north of the Negev Desert, it is believed to have been sent by Lebanon's Hezbollah. They added that it was likely to have been sent to spy on the Dimona nuclear facility.
"From the size of the explosion caused by the [Israeli Air Force] strike, it appears that the drone was not carrying explosives," said Haaretz. "More likely, it was probably gathering intelligence for one or two reasons: to photograph possible targets within Israel and to examine options for penetrating Israeli airspace by checking the preparation and response time of the IDF."
The drone entered Israeli airspace from the direction of the Mediterranean near the Gaza Strip, official sources told Haaretz, adding that it was "unlikely" that it originated in Gaza, as "a drone is too sophisticated for the groups there" to use.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak expressed his concern that Israeli airspace was penetrated by a drone. "We take a serious view of any attempt to violate Israeli airspace and we will consider our response," he said.