The 25th of April, the Israeli military announced having shot an unidentified aircraft a few miles away from the coast near the city of Haifa. The missile fired from an Israeli fighter jet brought down the aircraft around 8 kilometres from the coastline at Haifa. Netanyahu was also incredibly quick to label the action as an “extremely grave” act that threatens Israeli borders, its security and sovereignty.
Although the aircraft in question was unidentified, and unmanned, Israel was quick to blame it on the Lebanese group Hezbollah, after last year’s similar incident allegedly caused by this group. Reports argue that the aircraft was detected while still over Lebanon, yet Hezbollah clearly denies having sent the drone into the Israeli airspace. The actual origin of the plane is doubtful as well, the only thing to be sure of is that it was flying over Lebanon.
Anyhow, the action heightened Israeli fears that the Lebanese group may want, and would be able to, take advantage of the Syrian unrest, and strengthen its military capabilities. Apart from blaming Hezbollah, some military officials tend to believe that it was an Iranian drone sent by the Lebanese Shiite group.
Meanwhile, Lebanese officials claim to have no information whatsoever on this action. This in itself would not be surprising even in case it was sent by Hezbollah, given the relatively high autonomy of the group. However, Hezbollah took responsibility for the incident in 2012 October, yet denied involvement this time.
This is not to decrease Israeli concerns. Israel quickly increased surveillance over Lebanon, and will probably work harder to eliminate Hezbollah from the scene. Yet, shooting this plane has to be seen in another light.
After the incident, Israeli warplanes flew over the Christian town of Jezzine, and the southern highlands, which is a stronghold of Hezbollah. This in turn led to reactions from Lebanon, voicing the dissatisfaction over Israel having violated the Lebanese airspace.
Around a year ago, Israeli aircrafts were also discovered flying over Hungarian airspace without a notice. However, in both of these cases, nothing happened, not even a notice or a warning from these countries. Yet Israel immediately allowed itself to shoot down an unidentified aircraft.
Seen in the light of this contradiction, one questions pops to the mind: what would happen if an Israeli plane would be shot because it violated the airspace of another country? It would certainly bring forth the fury of Israel, taking this action as directed against the Israeli sovereignty, while it believes that flying over its own airspace should be punished immediately.
Action should be taken to push Israel back to the framework of normal and realistic behaviour in the international scene and leave behind the increasing paranoia it suffers from more and more. Israeli governments should realise that their country has not more, nor less, rights internationally than any other state, and therefore should revise its politics of superiority.