Early Tuesday, the Israeli military shot down a Syrian jet over the Golan Heights, marking the first time in three decades that Israel had downed a piloted Syrian plane.
Netanyahu spoke exclusively in Canada to Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network's Power & Politics.
"Our air defences are designed to intercept any intrusion of our airspace by enemy fighter aircraft, and we had such a penetration. It may have been accidental. We shot it down," Netanyahu said.
The military said a "Syrian aircraft infiltrated into Israeli air space" in the morning hours and that the military "intercepted the aircraft in mid-flight, using the Patriot air defence system."
The military would not say what type of aircraft was downed and said the circumstances of the incident were "unclear."
Earlier Tuesday in Israel, Israeli special forces stormed a West Bank hideout and killed two Palestinians suspected in the June abduction and slaying of three Israeli teenagers, a gruesome attack that had triggered a chain of events that led to the war in Gaza this summer.
The deaths of the two suspects, identified by the Israeli military as well-known Hamas militants, ended one of the largest manhunts conducted by the Israeli security forces.
Reuters reported the Palestinian delegation to Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo decided to continue the negotiations despite the killing.