IDF Shows 22-Story Deep Border-Crossing Tunnel From Lebanon

ZARIT (Reuters) -
The inside of a cross-border tunnel which Israel said was dug from Lebanon into Israel, is seen during a media tour organized by the Israeli military near Zar’it in northern Israel, Monday. (Reuters/Gil Eliyahu)

The IDF on Monday showed the inside of a sophisticated tunnel passing deep underground from Lebanon into northern Israel, saying it was intended for use by Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists.

The tunnel was rigged with electrical wiring, fuse boxes and communications equipment. An IDF spokesman said it began almost a mile away inside Lebanon and reached depths of some 265 feet – about the height of a 22-story building – as it crossed into Israel, near the town of Zar’it.

It came to light earlier this year during an army operation in which a number of attack tunnels dug by Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah were discovered and sealed off, the military said.

An opening of a cross-border tunnel near Zar’it. (Reuters/Gil Eliyahu)

Hezbollah’s leader, in response to Israel‘s tunnel operation, said in January that his group has been able to enter Israel for years. But he stopped short of acknowledging that the tunnels were the handiwork of Hezbollah, citing the heavily armed group’s policy of “ambiguity” on military matters and a desire to deny Israel a pretext to attack.

Israel regards Iran as its biggest foe and Hezbollah as the main threat on its borders. It has waged an increasingly open campaign of military strikes against them both in Syria, where they have fought on the government side in the civil war.