Israel shot down a drone that had crossed over from Lebanon on Thursday, its military said in a statement.

"A short while ago, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers identified and downed a drone crossing from Lebanese territory into Israeli territory towards the town of Zar'it," the military said.

It did not immediately identify who had sent the drone from Lebanon and released a photo of a UAV lying in a thicket of thorns. "The IDF will continue to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty," the military said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah controls a wide strip of land along Israel's borders, with fighters, weapons and military installations covering southern Lebanon to Israel's northern border. Hezbollah is financed and armed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Last month, Israel said Lebanese armed group Hezbollah was behind a rare roadside bomb attack that wounded a motorist in northern Israel in March, and in the past has said it shot down the group's drones.

In April, rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel during Palestinian Israeli clashes. Lebanon claimed that Palestinians on its territory had fired the rockets, and not the Hezbollah, creating a convenient ambiguity to relieve Israel of the pressure to retaliate against Hezbollah.

Iran has been encouraging all its proxy forces in the region to intensify attacks against Israel this year.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006 and have traded fire on several occasions since, but have avoided a large-scale confrontation.

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