Israel to expose Hezbollah attack tunnels from Lebanon

Israel said it had bolstered its forces on the nothern border

Israel said it had bolstered its forces on the northern border Credit JACK GUEZ AFP Getty Images

In 2006, Hezbollah and Israel fought out a war in the border region in which more than 1,100 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 159 Israelis, were killed.

Col Conricus said the tunnels were part of a plan by Hezbollah to "conquer the Galilee" region of Israel in a future conflict. The statement went on to say "Secretary Pompeo noted the strength of the US-Israel alliance and our multifaceted cooperation".

Suggesting the military operation had been long-planned, the newspaper also said military censors had recently imposed "heavy restrictions" that limited its ability to report on the IDF's plan to destroy the tunnels.

In a tweet, Israeli military spokesperson Avichay Adraee said the Lebanese government is responsible for the build-up of the tunnels, saying they are endangering Lebanese citizens.

"We see Hezbollah's activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty" and United Nations resolutions, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman.

The IDF said earlier that it had uncovered the "first of sure to be many" subterranean attack tunnels. It's operating at several points inside Israeli territory along its northern border with Lebanon, with several areas declared a closed military zone. Where you see are Hezbollah operatives filmed inside the terrorist tunnel that was drilled towards our territory. "We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran's efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel".

It is in this context that Israel was able to successful take tunnel detection technology from the Gazan border, where it was used to discover and destroy one Hamas tunnel after another, and bring it to the Lebanese border.

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A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper drives an armored vehicle in the Lebanese town of Adaisseh, near the border with Israel, on January 19, 2015.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of Netanyahu's ceasefire in Gaza on November 14, which made Netanyahu officially the defense minister.

The prime minister, who has since assumed the role of defence minister, said at the time that holding elections would be "irresponsible" due to the undefined security threats.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah last September boasted his terror group had attained precision-guided missiles, in defiance of spite of Israeli repeated attempts at preventing this.

Netanyahu is also facing further pressure after Israeli police on Sunday recommended he and his wife Sara be indicted for bribery, the third such decision against the premier in recent months.

Prominent regional analyst Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Rai al-Youm, wrote Tuesday that the Israeli premier is struggling to save his own political life and avoid ending behind bars for graft by announcing such an operation.

Israel said the Iranian-backed Shia militant group had been building the tunnels so its forces could infiltrate into the Jewish state from southern Lebanon.

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