An IAF fighter jet and an Israeli Navy missile ship on Saturday intercepted three hostile UAVs from Lebanon which approached the airspace over Israel’s economic waters.

The UAVs were identified by detection systems and monitored by ground control units throughout their flight. The UAVs were identified at an early stage and intercepted at the optimal operational point.

An initial inquiry suggests that the UAVs did not pose an imminent threat. The UAVs were intercepted over the Mediterranean Sea.

The detection and alert systems functioned as required, embodying the concept of multi-layered air defense in the best possible manner in unison with the professional activities of the soldiers at sea and in the air who carried out the defensive mission with great success.

The UAVs belong to the Hezbollah terrorist organization and flew from Lebanese territory in the direction of the “Karish” gas platform. They were intercepted at a safe distance from the platform.

One UAV was intercepted by an F-16 "Barak” fighter jet which was dispatched to the scene from the 109th Squadron in Ramat David. The two other UAVs were intercepted by the INS "Eilat" missile ship using “Barak” interceptors.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) conducted a situational assessment Saturday evening together with the IDF Chief of the General Staff, head of the IDF's Intelligence Directorate, head of the Operations Directorate, Navy Commander, IAF Commander, and head of the Policy and Political-Military Bureau in the Ministry of Defense, following the interception of UAVs in the northern arena.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: "The State of Israel is prepared to defend its infrastructure against any threat. The Hezbollah terrorist organization is preventing the state of Lebanon from reaching an agreement regarding maritime borders, which are critical to the economy and prosperity of the Lebanese nation. This is despite the willingness of the State of Israel to move forward in the negotiations and to reach a solution on the issue. The State of Israel will continue to defend its assets - we are obligated and will preserve our right to operate and respond to any threat."