ibusinesslines.com December 10, 2018

Israel to expose Hezbollah attack tunnels from Lebanon

04 December 2018, 03:23 | Erica Roy

Israel launches military operation against 'Hezbollah tunnels'

Hezbollah tunnel dug under UNIFIL noses

Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee said the Lebanese government was responsible for the build-up of the tunnels.

"The digging of the cross-border attack tunnels that the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) 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", the military said.

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The announcement of the operation came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels on Monday night.

Over the course of that war, Israel has targeted alleged Syrian and Hezbollah arms convoys on multiple occasions in an attempt to block any Iranian efforts to transfer weapons to the group.

The tunnels are concentrated in the area around Metula, a small Israeli town of around 1,000 people nestled against the border with Lebanon.

More than 1,125 Lebanese, majority civilians, and some 40 Israeli civilians, were killed in that conflict.

The operation in the Meluta area will target an unspecified number of tunnels that were not ready to be used, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the IDF, according to The Jerusalem Post. The tunnels evidently were meant as the surprise element of that plan, Israel Hayom reports. An Israeli military source said the operation might take weeks to complete.

There have been outbreaks of violence between Israel and Hezbollah across the Israel-Lebanon border, which is heavily fortified.

The statement accused Hezbollah of committing "a double war crime" as it operates from "within Lebanon's civilian population, in order to harm Israel's civilian population".

Although its attention has been diverted to violent protests along its border with Gaza in recent months, Israel's main security concerns lie to the north, along the border with Lebanon.

"Hezbollah has taken control of Lebanon and is pushing an Iranian agenda to turn that country into a base for attacks against Israel".

Israel has also long warned that it believes Hezbollah intends to conduct cross-border raids in any future conflict with Israel, establishing a special forces unit - known as the Radwan Unit - with the specific goal of capturing an Israeli village near the border. Israel has also reportedly carried out killings against Hezbollah figures. With Syria's civil war winding down, Hezbollah is now free to re-establish itself back home in Lebanon and refocus on Israel.

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