Photo Credit: Wolfgang Fricke / Wikimedia
ZIM Luanda in Hamburg, Germany, on July 30, 2023

Residents of Israel’s Red Sea resort city of Eilat heard explosions late Saturday night that turned out to be IDF interceptions of a combat drone launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The IDF said one of its fighter jets shot down the UAV, adding that it did not enter Israeli airspace.


“An Air Force fighter jet successfully intercepted a short time ago an unmanned aircraft that was on its way to Israeli territory, in the Red Sea area. The threat did not penetrate the territory of Israel,” the IDF said.

Early Saturday evening, the Yemeni terrorists fired at least two ballistic missiles early Saturday evening towards Eilat, the southernmost city in Israel. The attack did not trigger the Red Alert incoming rocket alarm system.

Both missiles were reportedly intercepted over the Red Sea by the Arrow, Israel’s extra-atmospheric aerial defense system.

The IDF later claimed the attack was a “false alarm.”

“A short time ago, interceptors were launched at two suspicious aerial targets in the Red Sea area, the event is over. The possibility that this is a false identification is being investigated,” the IDF said in a statement Saturday night. “No intrusion into Israeli territory was detected and no alerts were activated according to policy,” the IDF said.

The IDF also confirmed that Yemeni Navy forces seized control of an Israeli cargo ship on Saturday.

“The Yemeni Navy forces have arrested the cargo ship “Zim Luanda” connected to Israel, which was sailing from Israel to China,” the IDF said.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.