Israel neutralizing terror tunnels

Israel neutralizing terror tunnels

The move comes just days after Israeli police on Sunday recommended for a third time that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on fraud and bribery charges in a scheme to get positive media coverage.

Israel's military said on Tuesday it was beginning an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon dug by the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

The Israeli army posted a video showing Hezbollah operatives inside a discovered hidden tunnel discovered on Tuesday south of Kfar Kela near Israel's northernmost town, Metula, where militants were shot at by a robot. Had the tunnels not been detected, Radwan terror cells could have made their way through the tunnels, underneath Israel's extensive border defenses (which include an array of sensors, an above-ground barrier, and artificial cliffs), and entered northern Israel.

The military has used various means to collapse or fill in tunnels from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu's office said the two discussed "how we can together curb Iran's aggression in the region", including in Lebanon, and that the Israeli leader updated Pompeo on the operation.

A Hezbollah official has warned Israel against invading Lebanon, saying the resistance movement is strong enough to block any military aggression and retaliate against it.

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.

Netanyahu said the alleged tunnels are aimed at "sending terrorists into northern Israel".

"He's half the Israeli government, practically", Kiriakou commented on what is considered to be the "one genuine democracy in the Middle East" by outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

The military said the tunnels were not yet operational but posed "an imminent threat" to Israeli civilians, and constituted "a flagrant and severe violation of Israeli sovereignty".


It later published a photograph of a tunnel that it said it had uncovered.

Malene Jensen, spokeswoman for the United Nations force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL, said the situation "remains calm".

These Hezbollah special forces would, in the event of a war, bring these new abilities with them into a new conflict with Israel.

It said the army had "enhanced its presence and readiness" and was prepared for "various scenarios".

The last major conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was the 2006 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.

Before his departure, Netanyahu hinted at the Israel operation. He took over the defense portfolio from his resigning minister and promised to pursue a hard line against Israel's enemies during what he described as a "complex" security situation.

The official also noted that Hezbollah's course of action will depend on developments in the field.

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