Israel Demands UNIFIL Take action over 'Hizbullah Tunnel'

Aziz Taher  ReutersIsraeli soldiers are seen from the village of Kfar Kila in south Lebanon Dec. 5 2018

According to the IDF, Operation Northern Shield is intended "to expose and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels" that are being "dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel".

UNIFIL later confirmed the existence of the tunnel close to the Blue Line in Israel.

Some in Lebanon have questioned the IDF's tunnel claims despite a number of images and footage released by Israel purportedly documenting the sophisticated 6-by-6-foot underground passageway.

He also asked Iran and its allies to stop taking provocative actions in the region that could threaten Israel.

There was no immediate reaction from Hezbollah or the Lebanese government on the United Nations statement. Gen. Yoel Strick slammed Hezbollah for violating UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

It added that one of its commanders had showed one of the tunnels to the head of UNIFIL, Major-General Sefano Del Col.

In Lebanon, the LBC TV posted an audio message that it said some residents of the border village of Kfar Fila received on their cellphones Thursday warning them to stay away from tunnels.

UNIFIL said in a statement that it's pursuing "urgent follow-up action", and will give its preliminary findings to Lebanese authorities.

Later on Thursday, the Israeli army called on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to destroy a tunnel the military said was built by Hezbollah across the frontier. He expanded on his comments on Thursday.

Multiple Launch Rocket System is near the Northen Israeli kibbutz of Yiftah near the border with Lebanon Dec. 5 2018
Jalaa Marey AFP Getty Images

Ya'alon's remarks were widely reported by the Israeli media, but he insisted that "none of the tunnels reach any of the communities where people said they had heard digging, nor to any home".

His statement came as Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil gave instructions to file a complaint with the UN Security Council regarding Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

Netanyahu also said he hopes the global community imposes increased sanctions on Hezbollah in response to Israel's exposure of the tunnels.

But what's significant is Netanyahu's domestic situation, which is in deep crisis, due to the change of battle rule as his minister of defense' resignation, and on the other hand because of the Netanyahu and his wife's corruption scandal.

Lebanon's Prime Minister designate, Saad Hariri, said on Wednesday that the Israeli operation at the border should not lead to any escalation.

The Israeli operation is expected to last for weeks, or even months.

On a daily basis in Southern Lebanon residents hear, if they don't see, Israeli drones buzzing away like huge mosquitoes in the sky.

The military provided UNIFL with a map of the area around Ramieh village on which houses are marked which are "connected to another attack tunnel that has been dug from Lebanon into Israel", army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

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