Israel launched a major operation to destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels in the north.
By World Israel News Staff
Overnight Monday the Israeli Army launched an operation to destroy Hezbollah’s cross-border terror tunnels from Lebanon into Israel.
Operation “Northern Shield,” as it’s been called, is a major, multi-branch effort of the Israeli Defense Forces involving the Intelligence Branch, the Combat Engineering Corps and the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Infrastructure.
The Northern Command is leading the operation, headed by Maj.-General Yoel Strick.
“The digging of the cross-border attack tunnels, which the IDF discovered before they became operational and posed an imminent threat to the safety of Israeli civilians, constitutes a flagrant and severe violation of Israeli sovereignty,” the IDF said in a statement.
“These Hezbollah activities are conducted from the villages of southern Lebanon while harming Lebanon and jeopardizing its civilians in order to establish its terror infrastructure,” the statement read.
“The Hezbollah terror organization, which is responsible for digging the cross-border attack tunnels, continues activity that is supported and funded by Iran, to establish its terror infrastructure against Israeli civilians.”
Since 2014, an IDF joint-task force of the Intelligence Directorate and the Northern Command has been tackling the problem of Hamas terror tunnels, and in 2015 it began a project to improve the defense of the northern line, including exposing and cutting off the tunnels and constructing a seven-mile (11-kilometer) stone fence.
In 2012, Israel became aware of Hezbollah’s “plan to conquer the Galilee,” as it was termed by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The tunnels evidently were meant as the surprise element of that plan, Israel Hayom reports.
As early as 2006, the IDF discovered that Hezbollah was building tunnels into its territory from Lebanon, an activity which only increased after the Second Lebanon War.
Israel also faces terror tunnels in the south from the Hamas terror organization in Gaza. It is constructing a massive underground barrier there that runs the entire length of the Gaza Strip. The IDF says that barrier will be virtually impossible to bypass.