Israel begins operation to expose ‘Hezbollah attack tunnels’ from Lebanon
05 December, 2018, 02:25 | Author: Mable Gonzales
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that several tunnels already had penetrated Israeli territory, and the IDF was in the process of destroying them.
The operation was launched before dawn on Tuesday, with the army declaring some areas adjacent to the Lebanon border a closed military zone and deploying additional forces to the north.
The army said the operation was for now confined to Israel and did not extend into Lebanon, where the tunnels originated.
Since then, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has touted plans to take over parts of Galilee in northern Israel in a future conflict. "In a matter of minutes, the small device is replaced by a larger bomb that prevents operational use inside other tunnels", Manelis explained.
There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah.
"Whoever tries to harm Israel's security will pay dearly", Netanyahu said in a statement. "Today, I want to tell you that what you see now is only a small part of the overall picture of the action we have taken and continue to take to ensure Israel's security in all sectors", the Prime minister and minister of defense added.
Its Arabic media spokesman posted a message on Twitter warning the Lebanese army and Hezbollah to stay away, saying: "Your lives are in danger, you have been warned". The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, had no further details.
Israel launches operation to thwart Hizbollah tunnels from Lebanon
The Lebanese military issued a statement saying the situation on the Lebanese side of the border is "calm and stable", adding that army units deployed in the area were carrying on with their usual missions in coordination with United Nations peacekeepers. "The command pointed out that the army was ready for any emergency situations", the statement noted.
Meanwhile, Lebanese president Michel Aoun on Monday morning received US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard to discuss the current developments in southern Lebanon.
As early as 2006, the IDF discovered that Hezbollah was building tunnels into its territory from Lebanon, an activity which only increased after the Second Lebanon War.
Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against what it says are Iranian military targets and deliveries of advanced arms to Hezbollah.
The operation comes weeks after Netanyahu faced a major crisis in his governing coalition over the handling of a cease-fire with Gaza militants.
Hezbollah is also a powerful political party in Lebanon. Northern residents have raised fears in recent years of attack tunnels being dug under the border, spurring the IDF to launch a task force to investigate the concerns in 2014.
Hezbollah, which possesses one of the most powerful militias in the region, has threatened to attack Israel with its vast rocket arsenal if war breaks out.
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