On October 6, Haaretz headlined "IDF shoots down drone that penetrated Israeli airspace," saying:
An "unidentified aerial vehicle" entered Israeli airspace Saturday. Israel shot it down over the Negev, south of Mount Hebron.
"The IDF said Saturday that the drone arrived in Israel from the west after flying over the Mediterranean and the Gaza Strip. It said the incident is under investigation.
IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechair said Israel tracked it "throughout the course of its flight." Fighter jets were dispatched. After getting approval, they downed it over Yatir forest. It's in Negev's northeast. Wreckage was recovered for further examination.
Hezbollah operates drones. Is it responsible or should fingers point elsewhere? It's hard imagining why Hezbollah, Iran or Syria would be provocative any time. Now seems extremely unlikely. Doing so would achieve nothing. It would also beg for retaliation.
Nonetheless, Israel's YNet News said Lebanon-based "Hezbollah-affiliated" Al-Mayadeen television reported that the drone was its UAV. A senior Hezbollah official denied involvement.
No information suggests Hamas had anything to do with it. It doesn't likely have access to drones or ability to operate them. Israeli officials claim it originated from Lebanon.
On October 6, Haaretz headlined, "The immediate suspect behind the drone that penetrated Israel: Hezbollah," saying:
The UAV "that was shot down by the IDF on Saturday came from the direction of Gaza - but it does not appear that Palestinian groups are behind it."
Israel revealed few details. All that's known is the drone "penetrated Israeli airspace from the direction of the Mediterranean, around the Gaza Strip."
During the 2006 Lebanon war, it's believed Hezbollah launched several Ababil drones capable of carrying explosives. Reportedly they were intercepted and downed.
In 2004, another drone penetrated Israeli airspace. Hezbollah was named responsible. Whether or not it's true, who knows. In 2010, Israel claimed it downed an unmanned balloon near Dimona.
All that's known is what Israel said each time. Best to take its reports with a grain of salt. They rarely have credibility.
"What were the launchers of Saturday's drone looking for," asked Haaretz? "According to the size of the explosion caused by the (Israeli) strike, it appears" not to have been carrying explosives.
Was its purpose surveillance or intelligence gathering? Did it hope to learn anything over barren or sparsely populated desert? How much could be gotten when Israel could easily down it over any location it wished?
In other words, drone penetrations of Israel are futile for strategic purposes. So why would any external originator launch one? Haaretz and YNet News left those considerations unaddressed.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) weighed in. On October 7, it headlined "UAV intrusion: Iranian act of belligerence against US and Israeli military targets," saying:
"(T)he penetration of Israeli air space by a large unmanned 'helicopter' should not have been allowed to happen."
"Unmanned helicopter?" It's not known if Hezbollah has them or how to operate them?
"The incident," said DF, "showed (Israeli) intelligence and command not up to handling surprises, even after countless drills and exercises."
DF said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said "(t)he resistance movement will surprise Tel Aviv in any future war."
"(W)ith Iranian backing, (Hezbollah) almost certainly proved its point Saturday, very likely in collaboration with its Palestinian ally, Hamas."
DF never misses a chance to beat up on Iran. It incorrectly cited Revolutionary Guard Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh. It claimed he said "his country was not waiting to be attacked but ready to carry out preemptive operations against the US and Israel."
At a September news conference, he said:
"Iran will not start any war, but it could launch a preemptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it."
He added that Washington would support an Israeli attack. "For this reason, we will enter a confrontation with both parties and will definitely be at war with American bases should a war break out."
He specifically mentioned US facilities in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan. "We see the United States and the Zionist regime alongside one another and we can by no means imagine that the Zionist regime would initiate a war (against Iran) without US support."
"There will be no neutral country in the region. To us, these bases are equal to US soil. This war is likely to degenerate into the World War III."
Revolutionary Guard commander Hossein Salami told Iran's IRNA news agency:
"Iran will obliterate the Zionist regime if the latter takes any action against Iran." If attacked, Tehran also warned it will close the Strait of Hormuz.
DF claimed Saturday's UAV incident may have been "a preparatory step for...an attack." It called it "an obvious act of war." It mentioned Hezbollah but blamed Iran. Saying so has no credibility whatever.
Did DF willfully point fingers the wrong way? False flags are Mossad and Shin Bet specialties. Both agencies have sordid histories of committing them and similar attacks. Was either agency responsible for Saturday's UAV provocation? Who can know, but it's very possible.
Similar incidents began during the Mandatory Palestine period. Jewish terrorist groups targeted Jews, Brits and Arabs. Paramilitary Hagana members were involved.
So was Irgun. It was headed by future prime minister Menachem Begin. Lehi (also called the Stern Gang) was also notorious. It was led by another future prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir. They were terrorists before entering politics.
In November 1944, Lehi assassinated Lord Moyne, Britain's Middle East minister of state. He was near his Cairo home at the time.
In September 1948, it also killed UN mediator Folke Bernadotte in Jerusalem. It was five months after Israel was established. Yitzhak Shamir personally approved the assassination.
In July 1946, Irgun bombed the King David Hotel. Doing so massacred 92 Brits, Arabs and Jews. Another 58 were wounded. Future prime minister David Ben-Gurion approved it as head of the Jewish Agency at the time.
Before and after May 1948, many thousands of targeted killings occurred or were attempted. Few are remembered today.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Mossad was implicated in numerous Beirut and other car bombings. It's one of its specialities.
On January 6, 2007, Haaretz said newly released British documents claim Shin Bet collaborated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They hijacked Air France 139. They diverted it from Israel to Entebbe, Uganda.
Arab terrorists were falsely blamed. Elite Israeli commandos were led by Yonatan Netanyahu. He was Bibi's older brother. He and others became instant heroes. Their "miraculous" rescue was claimed. An unnamed UK diplomat blamed Israel, saying:
"The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO's standing in France and to prevent what (was seen as) growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans."
British diplomat DH Colvin included documented information that Israel and the PFLP collaborated. Haaretz said it "was written on June 30, 1976. It was three days after the hijacking and prior to the rescue operation."
On September 25, 1997, two Mossad agents entered Jordan with forged Canadian passports. They attacked Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. They spraying him with an unknown poison. He survived and recovered to explain.
In January 2002, a Mossad car bomb killed former Lebanese cabinet minister Elie Hobeika and three bodyguards. In 1982, he was involved in the infamous Sabra and Shatilla camp massacres.
Days before his assassination, he expressed willingness to implicate then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon's direct role. Clearly, Mossad killed him to prevent it.
Mossad's raison d'Ítre needs no explanation. The same goes for Shin Bet. They comprise Israel's Murder, Inc. They also specialize in false flags. They operate within and outside Israel. Mafia families are amateurs by comparison.
Perhaps Israel's most notorious false flag occurred on June 3, 1982. Assassins tried to kill Israel's UK ambassador Shlomo Argov. They approached his car after a Dorchester Hotel banquet. He was shot, gravely injured, but survived. Emergency brain surgery saved him.
Assassins were Abu Nidal militants. Arafat was falsely blamed. Israel got the war it wanted. Around 18,000 Palestinians died. The Sabra and Shatila massacres were one of the last century's most horrific war crimes.
At the time, Ariel Sharon was defense minister. He ordered the slaughter. He let Phalangist fascists do his dirty work.
Southern Lebanon remained occupied until May 2000. Israel still illegally holds Sheba Farms and other Lebanese territory.
Rafik Hariri's assassination was also notable. On February 14, 2005, compelling visual and audio evidence revealed real time intercepted Israel aerial surveillance footage. It showed routes former Prime Minister Hariri used on the day his motorcade was attacked. Clearly, Israel was involved.
Washington blamed Syria. Assad denied responsibility. Hezbollah was later falsely named. It was a typical Mossad operation, but no one at the time knew for sure. The blast left a 30 foot crater. Over 100 were injured besides those killed.
An International Court of Justice (ICC) Special Tribunal (STL) investigated Hariri's killing. On August 17, 2011, four Hezbollah members were falsely indicted.
No evidence whatever suggested their involvement. Obvious questions go unanswered. Cui bono? Clearly neither Hezbollah or Syria had anything to gain from killing Hariri.
The same logic applies now. What possible reason would Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, or Hamas have for provoking a possible robust Israeli response?
Quite the opposite. They have every incentive to avoid risks able to initiate war. Point fingers where they likely belong. Israel has lots to gain from eliminating regional rivals and irritants.
Is war likely now? Evidence suggests it looms against Syria. If so, perhaps spillover could target Hezbollah. Iran may be later. Hamas could be targeted any time.
Unfolding events bear close watching. Anything may happen ahead and likely will at some point. Chances are false flag provocations will be responsible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.