IDF destroying Hezbollah tunnels on northern border; IDF Spokespersons Unit confirms tunnels under observation for some time; IDF increases forces on border.
The IDF detected and began destroying Hezbollah tunnels from Lebanon into Israel.
The IDF operation “Northern Shield” was confirmed early Tuesday after the IDF began to expose and neutralize the terror tunnel network from Lebanese territory into Israel overnight Monday. The cross-border tunnels, which the IDF confirmed are non-operational, have been under IDF surveillance for several years.
The IDF’s Northern Command, Engineering Corps and intelligence units are working together to eliminate the threat. The IDF has increased forces along Israel’s border as the operation is being carried out.
The IDF Spokespersons Unit confirmed the operation, releasing the statement “The digging of the cross-border attack tunnels that the IDF has discovered, before the attack tunnels became operational and posed an imminent threat to the safety of Israeli civilians, constitutes a flagrant and severe violation of Israeli sovereignty. In addition, they serve as additional proof of the terror organization Hezbollah’s disregard of UN resolutions – first and foremost UNSCR 1701.”
It explained “these Hezbollah activities are conducted from the villages of southern Lebanon while harming Lebanon and jeopardizing its civilians in order to establish its terror infrastructure. The Hezbollah terror organization, which is responsible for digging the cross-border attack tunnels, continues its activity that is supported and funded by Iran, to establish its terror infrastructure against Israeli civilians.”
It confirmed that the tunnels have been under surveillance for over two and a half years and that a special operational engineering team was “established in the Northern Command to expose and identify Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels, while at the same time a project began to fortify the border, which included drilling into the ground.”
These developments follow threats from Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah over the weekend amidst calls from Arab states to accept the State of Israel. Nasrallah condemned “any form of normalization with the Zionist entity,” directly stating to the Palestinians “do not lose hope over the Arab states’ normalization with Israel… The current normalization has put an end to Arab hypocrisy, and removed the mask from the swindlers and hypocrites,” specifically in reference to Saudi Arabia.
He warned Israel against any attacks on Lebanon, stating “We will respond to any Israeli strike on Lebanon and will not accept any aggression by the enemy against our land.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday evening, their meeting centered on these developments, Iran in Syria and regional security. He stated ahead of their meeting “I want to thank you for everything that you’re doing, for your strong statements on the latest violation by Iran on the ballistic missiles. I look forward to discussing with you how we can together curb Iran’s aggression in the region, in Syria, in Iraq, in Lebanon and elsewhere and to continue our efforts to achieve peace and security for everyone.”
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