Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

U.S. "Strongly Supports" Israel's Operation to Destroy Hezbollah's Terror Tunnels


Israel's military said on Tuesday it had begun an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon dug by the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

"The army command assures that the situation is calm. and is being followed up on", Elnashra, an online independent newspaper, quoted the army as saying.

Referring to the UN-established ceasefire line, Sayegh said: "Unifil peacekeepers have further increased their patrolling along the Blue Line, together with the Lebanese Armed Forces".

The Israeli army said it launched an operation dubbed "Northern Shield" to destroy "attack tunnels" it accused the Lebanese militia of digging under the border.

Senior United States administration officials expressed their support for Israel's recently-commenced operation meant to eliminate the threat of Hezbollah's terror tunnels extending into Israeli territory.

The operation comes a day after the Israeli police recommended that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the defense minister, be indicted on corruption charges.

A Lebanese army source said the situation was calm on Lebanon's side of the border. "We will continue with additional actions - open and covert - in order to ensure the security of Israel".

"More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security", Bolton said.

The military said it had located one such tunnel dug from a home in the Kafr Kila area of south Lebanon that crossed into Israeli territory and was working to "neutralise" it.

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Israel released video footage of digging and pile-driving equipment at work in unidentified locations, carrying out what it said were "tactical preparations to expose Hezbollah's offensive cross-border tunnel project".

Conricus said that while the army has boosted its presence in the north for the Lebanon operation, it has not summoned reserve soldiers.

He said the military "holds the Lebanese government responsible for all activities perpetrated in Lebanon towards Israel".

His comments were seen by some as an attempt to save his government, with polls showing wide disapproval of his handling of a Gaza flare-up in November.

Conricus rejected suggestions of politics influencing the announcement.

Israel appears concerned that Iran is trying to transfer some of its military influence from Syria, where Russian Federation is the government's top ally, to Lebanon.

There has been increased attention in Israel in recent days over Israeli officials' concerns regarding Iranian activity in Lebanon.

Israel and Hezbollah have avoided major conflict across the Lebanese-Israeli border since their last war in 2006, though Israel has mounted attacks in Syria targeting what it said were advanced weapon deliveries to the Shi'ite Muslim group.

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