Netanyahu expresses pride as IDF uncovers first tunnel in Operation Northern Shield

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit attends a State Control Committee meeting in the Knesset

The Lebanese-Israeli border was quiet Tuesday, hours after Israel announced an operation against what it said were Hezbollah infiltration tunnels, a United Nations peacekeeping force said.

"We are in complete control of the operation, and we are determined to remove the threat of the tunnels from Israel's northern border", IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis said in a statement. Had the tunnels not been detected, Radwan terror cells could have made their way through the tunnels, underneath Israel's extensive border defenses (which include an array of sensors, an above-ground barrier, and artificial cliffs), and entered northern Israel.

"The construction of these tunnels, built by Hezbollah and funded by Iran, alongside the ongoing efforts to transfer arms, convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles and manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon, are a flagrant violation of Israel's sovereignty and mark yet another stage of Hezbollah's ongoing efforts to expand its military build-up and further destabilize the already volatile region", he added. - Reuter ay it had begun an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon dug by the Iran-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah.

"These cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran". He did not explain why the operation to uncover the tunnels started now.

Israel's Channel 10 News cited a Lebanese source saying Lebanese army units have been deployed along the border to monitor Israel's activities.

"I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger", said Netanyahu.

The tunnel stretched some 200 metres (660 feet), at a depth of around 25 metres, Conricus said.

Suggesting the military operation had been long-planned, the newspaper also said military censors had recently imposed "heavy restrictions" that limited its ability to report on the IDF's plan to destroy the tunnels.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah and its Al-Manar TV did not make any mention of the Israeli operation. Israel's border with Lebanon has been relatively quiet in the years since, but Israel views the Shiite militant group and its rockets as a major threat.

The two fought an inconclusive, month-long war in 2006.

Israel appears increasingly concerned that Iran is attempting to transfer some of its military influence from Syria, where Russian Federation is the government's top ally, to Lebanon. The video was posted hours after an alleged Israeli airstrike on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria. Amid the crisis he took on the defense portfolio from his resigning minister and promised to pursue a hard line against Israel's enemies during what he described as a "complex" security situation. Israel is on high alert for any possible Hezbollah reaction.

Neither side appears interested quite yet in another full-fledged confrontation like the 2006 war, but any skirmish could spark an all-out conflict along the tense border.

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