Operation Northern Defense, the IDF effort to find and destroy terror tunnels built by Hezbollah, has become the focus of a war of public relations and psychological warfare between Israel and Hezbollah. On Monday night, the Lebanese terror group released footage of IDF soldiers working on the search for the tunnels, including the use of a new robot to dig. Meanwhile, IDF officials revealed several details of how they are searching for the tunnels, including the placement of sensors and other high-tech devices that are helping reveal the location of tunnels.
Hezbollah has been closely following the IDF activity on the border, although it has yet to comment on the revelation of its tunnel secrets by Israel last week. Besides excavation work, Hezbollah footage featured conversations between Israeli and UNIFIL officials. Hezbollah terrorists, meanwhile, have been posted right along the border wall, as they attempt to detect Israeli “breaches” of the border.
In its revelations Monday night, the IDF presented some of the technology it has been using to uncover the tunnels. Much of the technology was developed in laboratories that were established to uncover Hamas terror tunnels.
In a video distributed by the army, one of the engineer officers working on the project said “we arrived in the north to help with the terror threat. We are using the technology and knowledge we have developed over the years in thwarting the tunnels in the south, so that we are able to efficiently deal with the tunnels in the north.” Over the past two and a half years, the team dealing with the southern threat has uncovered 17 Hamas terror tunnels leading into Israel.
Speaking Tuesday, IDF General Yair Golan said that Hezbollah definitely constituted a threat, but one that Israel could handle. The real challenge, he said, was “to convince the world that the Lebanese Army and government is the responsible party for what happens in Lebanon. The current situation is unacceptable. We have a long way to go to deal with the Iranian encroachment in Lebanon.”