Published: Mon, December 10, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel says located second 'Hezbollah' tunnel from Lebanon

Israel says located second 'Hezbollah' tunnel from Lebanon

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

But military officials say that to fully neutralize the threat, Israeli forces might have to enter southern Lebanon and destroy the tunnels at their source. That day, troops uncovered their first tunnel, which originated inside the Lebanese village of Kafr Kila and penetrated Israeli territory south of the town of Metulla.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, who is also a member of Israel's security cabinet, appeared to indicate that Israel could consider military action in southern Lebanese territory, if necessary. Troops fired towards the three "in accordance with the standard operating procedures" and they fled the scene.

Israel said it placed explosives inside the tunnel.

A statement from Netanyahu said that in his phone call with Putin he had also "stressed once more Israel's policy aimed at preventing Iran's entrenchment in Syria and at acting against Iran and Hezbollah's aggression".

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The IDF said "the tunnels serve as proof of Hezbollah's blatant violation of Israel's sovereignty".

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency, however, said the IDF soldiers shot into the air when they saw a Lebanese army patrol near the border demarcation. They did not reveal the location of the tunnel found Saturday.

The relationship between Russia and Israel has been strained since September, when Russia accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet by Syrian air defences following an Israeli air strike nearby.

Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem told Iranian Arabic-language newspaper al-Vefagh that the Iran-backed Shiite militant group's missiles served as a deterrent against Israel going to war in Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the operation will go on for as long as needed, and called on the global community to respond to the attack tunnels by imposing additional sanctions on Hezbollah.

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