The IDF spokesman has released footage and pictures from inside a Hezbollah terror tunnel it claims to have found in Israeli territory near the Lebanese border. The tunnel was found near Kafr Kila or Kela in southern Lebanon.
Details were later released on the tunnel: It was over 80 feet underground, 6 feet wide, 6 feet high and it extended 130 feet into Israeli territory. This Hezbollah attack tunnel extended from under a home in southern Lebanon, over 600 feet through solid rock and into Israel. The tunnel also had electricity, ventilation and communications lines.
On Tuesday morning, the IDF launched an operation to “expose and thwart” tunnels it says were built by the Hezbollah terror group that stretch from Lebanon into Israeli territory.
“We see Hezbollah’s activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty” and of U.N. resolutions, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman. “This activity is another example of the negative effects of Iranian entrenchment in the region.”
The IDF has been using earthmovers and other large machinery to build a massive wall along its northern border, saying the barrier is needed to protect civilians from Hezbollah attacks.
According to the IDF, the tunnel that was uncovered did not pose an immediate threat to the residents of the area.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the launch of Operation Northern Shield in an announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield this morning,” Netanyahu said. “The operation’s goal is exposing and neutralizing terror tunnels from Lebanon.
“We are proud of our IDF officers and soldiers,” Netanyahu said, and for “the successes already in the first stages of the operation.”
“Whoever tries to harm the State of Israel,” the prime minister added, “will pay a heavy price.”
Netanyahu informed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the upcoming operation in their meeting Monday in Brussls, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Netanyahu added that he told Secretary Pompeo that Iranian aggression in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere must be prevented.
Meanwhile, the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet will convene Tuesday night at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv for a special session in which the ministers will hear updates on Operation Northern Shield.