Israel intercepts Egyptian military drone hovering over its airspace
An Israeli military jet earlier this week intercepted an Egyptian military drone that hovered "by mistake" over the southern Negev desert as part of the security operations against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, Israeli news outlets reported on Wednesday.
Coordination was undertaken in advance with Egypt before downing the drone, the reports added, citing Israel's ministry of defence.
According to the Israeli military, the incident occurred on Monday near Mount Sagi, situated only a few kilometres from the border with Egypt, local Times of Israel reported.
The incident came as Israeli air defences were on high alert following Iranian threats to respond to the assassination of a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer, the report added.
The Egyptian defence ministry, meanwhile, did not comment on the incident.
Local sources in North Sinai told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the sister company of The New Arab, that "detecting drones from both sides, Egypt and Israel, is common on the border between the two countries," while "intrusions sometimes occur."
Egypt has been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency, especially in the North Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Militancy intensified in Egypt after the military, led by the then-ministry of defence Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Since then, insurgents have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting army and police forces and Christians.
In October last year, a security protocol that formed part of the US-sponsored peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979 was amended, for the first time in over four decades.
Israel has finally allowed Egypt to deploy permanent, fully-armed border guards in Rafah city in the restive North Sinai province along the northeastern border with Israel.