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Low Flying Israeli Jets over Lebanon Spreading Jitters

Low Flying Israeli Jets over Lebanon Spreading Jitters

Sunday, 10 January, 2021 - 14:45
An Israeli air force F-15 fighter jet flies during an exhibition at the Hatzerim air base, southern Israel June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli warplanes carried out several low flying flights over Beirut as reconnaissance drones also buzzed overhead Sunday in what has become a daily occurrence.

The frequency of low flying warplanes over the capital has intensified in the last two weeks, making residents jittery.

Israel regularly violates Lebanon airspace, often to carry out strikes in Syria. On Christmas Eve, Israeli jets flew low late into the night, terrorizing Beirut residents who are no strangers to such flights. They were followed by reported Israeli strikes in Syria.

Many fear conflict may erupt in the area before US President Donald Trump leaves office in retaliation for the US killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last year, or to scuttle efforts by the incoming administration of Joe Biden to negotiate with Iran.

On Friday, the Lebanese army recorded an Israeli flight that lasted nearly six hours in the country’s south.

At one point this summer, the Lebanese army said Israel violated its airspace nearly 30 times in two days, flying reconnaissance drones and jets into Lebanese territory.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon says Israel enters Lebanese airspace on a daily basis in violation of UN resolutions and the country’s sovereignty.

Between June and October 2020, UNIFIL recorded a daily average of 12.63 airspace violations, totaling 61 hours and 51 minutes in flight time, a significant increase from the previous four months. Drones accounted for approximately 95% of the violations, UNIFIL said.

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