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Jerusalem - Israel May Expand Anti-tunnel Operation Into Lebanon, Minister Says

Published on: December 7, 2018 08:00 AM
By: Reuters
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 Israeli soldiers patrol on the Israel border with Lebanon, near the northern Israeli town of Metula, 05 December 2018. EPA Israeli soldiers patrol on the Israel border with Lebanon, near the northern Israeli town of Metula, 05 December 2018. EPA

Jerusalem - Israel is prepared to take action in Lebanon against Hezbollah cross-border tunnels if necessary, an Israeli cabinet minister said on Friday.

Israel’s military said earlier this week that it had found a number of passages dug across the Israel-Lebanon border to be used in carrying out attacks inside Israel. The Israeli military sent mechanical diggers, troops and anti-tunneling equipment to the border to shut them down.

The Israeli military, which launched the operation on Tuesday, has said its activity would, for now, stop on the Israeli side of the border.

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But Israeli news media on Thursday quoted a unnamed senior official saying that Israel could extend its activity into Lebanon, and on Friday Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz reiterated that messages.

“If we think that in order to thwart the tunnels that one needs to operate on the other side - then we will operate on the other side of the border,” Katz told Radio Tel Aviv 102FM.

What form the action would take was not clear. Over the past year, at least 15 tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israel were found and destroyed, the Israeli military said.

The United Nations peacekeeping Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), confirmed the existence of a tunnel near the “blue line” frontier between the two countries on Thursday, describing it as a “serious occurrence”.

In the aftermath of the Israeli tunnel announcement, the situation has remained calm on both sides of the border. But the Israeli operation has brought renewed attention to a frontier across which Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

The Israeli military said in a statement on Thursday that it “holds the Lebanese government, the Lebanese Armed Forces and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon responsible for all events transpiring in and emanating from Lebanon.”

It added that an Israeli military commander had shown one of the tunnels to the head of UNIFIL, Major-General Sefano Del Col, and it urged UNIFIL and the the Lebanese army to clear the area of tunnels.

UNIFIL said in its statement it was “engaged with the parties to pursue urgent follow-up action”.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has instructed the country’s envoy to the U.N. to complain that Israel is waging “a diplomatic and political campaign against Lebanon in preparation for attacks against it”, Hezbollah’s l-Manar TV said.

Since the 2006 war, Israel has largely refrained from striking at Hezbollah on Lebanese soil, but it has carried out dozens of attacks in Syria against what it said were advanced weapons shipments to the Iranian-backed Shi’ite group.



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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 07, 2018 at 08:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Been there done that (going into Lebanon) twice and it hasn't been successful.

2

 Dec 07, 2018 at 09:35 AM Meloah Says:

One problem with the tunnels is that even if they don't cross the border, they give Hezbollah a military post right close to it, from which they can attack the Israeli army at closer range. It can give them dozens of trenches right in front of Israeli soldiers and tanks...If Israel is unaware of where these underground trenches are, the Israelis can be caught ambushed.

That seems to be a significant danger in case Israel has to infiltrate Lebanon...to suddenly find itself sandwiched...The question is if Israel knows where the tunnels are or not.

3

 Dec 07, 2018 at 01:26 PM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

haven't the weak "leaders" of Israel ever read the papers? the IDF lost twice in Lebanon, the former after a bad occupation where they backstabbed their Christian allies who now are Hezbollah allies by having a COWARDLY retreat UNDER FIRE in the middle of the night under weak Barak and then again in 2006 they lost 120 precious Jewish boys mainly to having a union leader Mexican Amir Peretz as defense minister despite not knowing how to hold a gun and a scientist air man named dan halutz as chief of staff who also never held an M16. The main reason Israel lost both wars is because they had and continue to have restrictions on killing so called civilians which Hezbollah knows, THERE ARE NO ARAB CIVILIANS there are only ACTIVE Arab soldiers and not active Arab soldiers. Putin bombed maternity wards in Grozny. Israel would be lucky to have a strong leader like Putin and not a corrupt weasel like Bibi.

4

 Dec 10, 2018 at 12:23 PM NoMan Says:

Reply to #3  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

haven't the weak "leaders" of Israel ever read the papers? the IDF lost twice in Lebanon, the former after a bad occupation where they backstabbed their Christian allies who now are Hezbollah allies by having a COWARDLY retreat UNDER FIRE in the middle of the night under weak Barak and then again in 2006 they lost 120 precious Jewish boys mainly to having a union leader Mexican Amir Peretz as defense minister despite not knowing how to hold a gun and a scientist air man named dan halutz as chief of staff who also never held an M16. The main reason Israel lost both wars is because they had and continue to have restrictions on killing so called civilians which Hezbollah knows, THERE ARE NO ARAB CIVILIANS there are only ACTIVE Arab soldiers and not active Arab soldiers. Putin bombed maternity wards in Grozny. Israel would be lucky to have a strong leader like Putin and not a corrupt weasel like Bibi.

"Mexican Amir Peretz"?

5

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