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After drone, Israel deploys missile defense unit

By Daniel Estrin

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9 2012 3:55 a.m. MDT

Israeli Army vehicles and helicopters are seen in an open area as they search for the remains of a drone in the Negev southern Israel, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Israeli jets scrambled to intercept a drone that crossed into Israeli airspace Saturday from the Mediterranean Sea, bringing it down without incident in the south of the country, a military spokeswoman said.

Yehuda Lachiani, Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel's military has deployed a missile defense system near the Lebanese border, days after warplanes shot down a mysterious unmanned aircraft that entered its skies.

An army spokesman said on Tuesday that the Patriot missile defense battery was deployed in the northern city of Haifa. He refused to say if the battery's deployment was connected to Saturday's drone incident. The drone is widely believed to have originated in Lebanon.

He spoke anonymously in line with military regulations.

The military has not said where the drone originated or who produced it. But it appears to be the work of Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah, which possesses advanced Iranian weapons and has deployed similar aircraft in the past.

Israel deployed Patriots in Haifa during its 2006 war with Hezbollah and on other occasions.

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