IDF Operation on Lebanon Border Destroys Hezbollah Attack Tunnels

Israel launches military operation against 'Hezbollah tunnels'

Israel launches operation to thwart Hizbollah tunnels from Lebanon

The military said the tunnels are not now being used by militants and that its work to find and neutralize them was taking place inside Israeli territory.

Israeli military personnel and a drill are seen as they work next to the border with Lebanon, near Metulla, northern Israel December 4, 2018. "This activity is another example of the negative effects of Iranian entrenchment in the region".

In September, a senior Israeli official said his country had carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the last two years. Israel said the tunnel originated under a house around the Lebanese village of Kfar Kela and crossed the border near Israel's northernmost town, Metula.

An army spokesperson declined to say how many "attack tunnels" had been identified or by what means they would be cut off.

He said that the operation would not cross the border into Lebanon.

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".

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Additional IDF troops were deployed to northern Israel as a precaution against potential attacks by Hezbollah, but no reservists were called up. The group would use firepower and ground units and "the surprise component of that plan was supposed to be tunnels that would allow infiltrators into Israel".

It later published a photograph of a tunnel that it said it had uncovered. "In a matter of minutes, the small device is replaced by a larger bomb that prevents operational use inside other tunnels", Manelis explained.

Netanyahu said he had planned to discuss with Pompeo "steps we are taking together to block the aggression of Iran and its proxies in the north", referring to Syria and Lebanon.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah.

It said the army had boosted its presence and readiness and was prepared for "various scenarios". "The army command is ready to confront any emergency", it said.

The Lebanese Armed Forces went on high alert in southern Lebanon after the announcement, a security official told al-Nahar.

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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.

Netanyahu has pledged to stop arch-foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria and to keep it from transferring advanced weapons to its ally Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The operation comes weeks after Netanyahu faced a major crisis in his governing coalition over the handling of a cease-fire with Gaza militants. In recent years, Israel has destroyed dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under their shared border.

Hezbollah is backed by Iran, Israel's main enemy.

Hezbollah is also a powerful political party in Lebanon.

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