Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90
Members of Al-Qassam Brigades display a drone at a rally, May 30, 2021.

“How did ‘Hassan’ bypass the advanced radar along the borders?” Hezbollah-affiliated daily al-Akhbar wondered on Tuesday morning («الأخبار» تنشر تفاصيل رحلة «حسّان»), and boasted: “The Dome, the Apache, and the F-16 did not stop the drone of the resistance!”

In case you forgot, “Hassan” was referred to by the IDF last Friday as a “hostile Hezbollah drone” that infiltrated the area south of the Lebanese border. The IDF attempted to shoot it down with IAF warplanes, helicopters, and the Iron Dome system, but they all failed to intercept, and Hassan the drone returned safely to Lebanon.

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There were no reported casualties, but most likely, very annoyed IDF generals.

This, too, shall pass.

But north of the border, where today, the price of 95 Octane gasoline reached 4,800 Lebanese pounds and 98 octanes “only” 3,800 pounds, there aren’t many reasons to feel joy, so they ran the Hassan story, four days later, and who can blame them.

Also, if I were a senior IDF officer, I’d pay attention.

A map of Hassan the drone’s flight over Israel, Feb. 22, 2022. / Screenshot

Analysis of a Failure

“Despite the Israeli efforts to secure a high level of airspace protection – so that the leaders of the enemy army believed that they had reached the top in this field – the resistance managed, last Friday, in less than an hour, to penetrate the protective layers that the Israeli occupation army developed over 18 years, after the success of ‘Hassan’ in the mission assigned to it,” al-Akhbar reports.

“What happened on Friday, in short, is that one plane, not exceeding three meters in width, plunged the enemy entity into a great whirlpool and complete confusion in northern Palestine, so what would happen if a squadron of dozens of these planes was launched? What if ‘Hassan’ passed again and was not satisfied with the weapon of the lens, but rather engulfed—using other weapons—the artificial entity of Israel in its worst nightmare?” the Hezbollah affiliate wonders.

“Throughout the years of confrontation with the Israeli occupation forces in the south before the year 2000, the enemy was constantly keeping pace with the evolution of the combat capabilities of the resistance groups and their various tactics and methods of action,” al-Akhbar explained. But now, it turns out, Hezbollah (that’s the resistance) has finally found the antidote: Hassan.

“In 2004, the enemy found itself facing a challenge of another kind after the resistance announced that a drone belonging to it, called ‘Mersad 1,’ had flown in the skies of northern Palestine. Then, Israel realized that it had to start preparing to confront resistance capabilities in the airspace. Since that time, Israel has not stopped trying to secure its airspace, and has made enormous efforts to that end, starting with deploying advanced radar along the northern border from Ras Al-Naqoura (Rosh HaNikra) to the occupied Golan, with a relentless effort to develop the ‘Iron Dome’ and trying to launch strikes, the most prominent of which was the assassination of the founder of the ‘Parade Corps’ of the resistance, the martyr Hassan Laqis, in 2013”

Hassan in the Holy Sky

Well-informed sources inside Hezbollah explained to Al-Akhbar the details of Hassan’s tour de force: “At 11:40 AM, the plane, Hassan, took off from a point in southern Lebanon, and despite all the means of early warning and monitoring, the enemy was not able to detect the plane until at 12:10 PM, after it had crossed about 30 km in the sky of Palestine, and arrived at the Rosh Pina area, near the city of Tsfat.”

“As soon as a ‘foreign body’ was discovered in the air, sirens sounded and attempts to identify the object began, before it turned out to be a plane with ‘wings, head, and tail,’ as one of the resistance officers put it. Immediately, the Iron Dome platform fired a Tamir missile at the drone which missed its target. The Northern Command sent an F16 aircraft to accomplish the mission, but its high speed did not enable it to block the slow drone, and it even passed along it without being able to intercept it. After the failure of the Dome and the warplane to shoot down the Drone, the enemy sent helicopters to ambush it north of Lake Tiberias (that’s our Kinneret), where the enemy believed would be the beginning of the drone’s return path. Apache helicopters were able to locate the drone over the lake and fired several missiles at it. Its scheduled flight was within 40 minutes, and it traveled about 70 km inside Palestinian airspace,” al-Akhbar reported – and, disregarding the victorious style that befits D Day more than flying a small object across Israeli territory, their report was confirmed by the IDF spokesperson.

“The enemy’s failure to bring down the drone revealed a major loophole in its efforts, military and technical, to secure a protective umbrella over the entire region (northern Israel),” the Hezbollah publication continues. “But the loss does not stop there. Rather, several points can be recorded in the last achievement, the most prominent of which is the resistance’s ability to penetrate multiple systems, phases, and layers, whose first mission is to protect Israeli airspace, without the advanced cameras and radar succeeding in detecting the plane before it entered Palestinian airspace.”

Al-Akhbar quotes a senior Hezbollah officer who confirms that the “Hassan” drone was able to “penetrate high-frequency sensor systems with precise receivers, such as the ADS monitoring system. It overcame the signal detection systems (SIGINT) and the radar and detection system (ULTRA C1), which is the largest radar developed by the enemy, installed on the top of Mount Hermon, whose main task is to hunt missiles and drones. It also managed to bypass the Iron Dome’s MMR radar system. In addition to bypassing the latest and most advanced of these systems, the ‘Sky Dew (a massive blimp containing an advanced radar system),’ which the enemy installed east of Nazareth, months ago, to catch the low-flying drones.”

In conclusion, al-Akhbar suggests that “the illusion of the ‘absolute ability’ of the Israeli air defense, which is composed of several layers, has dropped, which means achieving a major breakthrough in the security of Palestinian airspace in general, and the airspace of the northern Galilee region in particular.”

“Likewise, the ability of the enemy’s army command to control and exercise self-control was greatly shaken, as demonstrated by the army’s performance during the event, in addition to the exposure of maneuvers and exercises. Most important of all, according to resistance sources, is the collapse of the security umbrella that used to shade the mobilization of the Israeli army and its spread throughout the north,” al-Akhbar concludes.

Are the people in charge at the IDF listening?

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.