An Israeli army observation "spy" airship located near the Gaza Strip crashed on Friday after it was hit by a civilian crop duster aircraft. There were no reports of injury after the incident but the balloon has been taken out of service, a military spokeswoman said Saturday.
According to a statement by the Israeli army spokesperson's unit said the incident occurred on Friday afternoon when a civilian crop duster operating in agricultural fields in the western Negev flew close to the ground and collided with the cable anchoring the airship, cutting through it.
Israel's Ynet news service said the army launched an inquiry into the matter.
The airship equipped with cameras is one of many methods used by the Israeli army to gather up-to-date intelligence on events in Gaza, Lebanon and around the occupied territories, making it a strategic asset for the intelligence.
Unconfirmed reports indicates that the balloons may be equipped with infrared capability allowing the Israeli intelligence and army to view and mark the location of fighters of the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza Strip andfighters in south Lebanon at night.
Three years earlier, a similar incident occurred when a drone crashed into the airship and damaged it, at that time hamas forces claimed that they were able to damage a small drone.