The Israeli military believes Hezbollah has underground hideout tunnels in Lebanese territory, in addition to the tunnels dug with the aim of crossing the border. The Israeli military has briefed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon forces (UNIFIL) about the whereabouts of at least one such tunnel, and requested that the matter will be investigated, an Israeli military spokesman said in an interview with Calcalist Sunday.
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In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Israeli forces launched an operation to expose and destroy tunnels dug by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had exposed a 600 foot “Hezbollah attack tunnel, which began under a civilian building in southern Lebanon, was dug through solid rock, and extended into Israeli territory,” according to a statement published Friday by the Israeli military.
Running 25 meters below ground, the tunnel had running electricity and ventilation, according to the statement.
The Israeli army tweeted Sunday that Israeli forces have placed explosives inside the tunnel. “Anyone who enters the tunnel does so at their own risk,” according to the tweet.
On Saturday, Netanyahu issued a statement that the Israeli military have exposed an additional tunnel infiltrating Israeli territory.
On Thursday, Lebanon’s ambassador to the United Nations on accused Israel of hacking into the country’s telephone network to warn southern Lebanese citizens of imminent Israeli military activity on the border, in what was described by Beirut as “extremely serious acts.”
“Israel has breached the Lebanese communications grid by hacking into the telephone network and sending recorded messages to peaceable civilian inhabitants of the southern part of the village of Kafr Killa warning them of imminent explosions to take place on Lebanese territory that might put their lives at risk,” Mudallali wrote.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon blasted the letter as “hypocritical.”
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the U.N. Security Council authorized UNIFIL to assist the Lebanese government in securing its borders to prevent the entry of illegal arms in Resolution 1701.
In a statement released Thursday, UNIFIL confirmed the existence of a tunnel penetrating Israeli territory from southern Lebanon. UNIFIL called the tunnel a “serious concern” and said it would pursue “urgent follow-up action.”
The same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a tweet the Security Council will meet to discuss Hezbollah’s tunnels and breach of resolution 1701, but did not give any details as to when this meeting will occur.
Netanyahu informed Russian Leader Vladimir Putin about the details of the operation undertaken by Israel, according to statements published by both leaders Friday.
The Russian president reiterated “the importance of ensuring stability in the region" in his statement. Referencing Syria, Putin stressed the importance of better military cooperation between the two countries.
Netanyahu stated that he and Putin agreed that security delegations from both countries will meet soon.
Following the Israeli military’s activity around the border town of Mays al-Jabal, the Lebanese army has sent reinforcements to the Israeli border, Hezbollah's al-Manar news agency reported Sunday.