Israeli soldiers stand guard next to machinery near the barrier with Lebanon, the northern Israeli town of Metula, Dec. 4, 2018. EPA-EFE/ATEF SAFADI
Metula (Israel), Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Israeli armed forces on Tuesday said they would destroy underground tunnels extending from Lebanon into Israeli territory that were allegedly dug out by the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah with the intention of carrying out cross-border attacks.
Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli Defense Force spokesman, said a military operation dubbed Northern Shield was underway to demolish the tunnels, at least one of which extended some 40 meters (131 feet) into Israeli territory near the country’s northern border with Lebanon.
“Hezbollah has been digging from within civilian facilities under the border,” Conricus said, speaking live on social media from the border town of Metula. “And have effectively created a tunnel that leads into Israel,” he added.
The IDF said one of the tunnels was some 24 meters below ground level, almost two meters tall and two meters wide, and was accessible from a house in Kfar Kila, a Lebanese village just across the border wall.
Iran-backed Hezbollah is one of the most powerful militias in the region and is considered a terror organization by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
It is highly active in the Syrian Civil War, fighting on the side of Bashar Al Assad’s regime, and fought a month-long war against Israel in 2006 in which over 1,000 civilians died.