Israel warns Hezbollah against approaching cross-border tunnels

Erika Holt
December 7, 2018

United Nations peacekeepers said they increased patrols on the Lebanese-Israeli border on Tuesday after Israel announced an operation against what it said were Hezbollah infiltration tunnels.

The military says the tunnels are not operational and that its work to expose them, which began on Tuesday, was taking place in Israeli territory.

An Israeli government source said the objective of the meeting was to update Pompeo of the tunnel operation.

During Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting in Brussels on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Secretary also emphasized America's commitment to Israel's national security and "absolute right to self defense".

Head of the worldwide media branch at the IDF's Spokesperson's Unit, Jonathan Conricus, told reporters during a phone briefing that this is "the first stage of the operation" in which the aim is "to expose and thwart" the tunnels. An Israeli military source said the operation might take weeks to complete.

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It later published a photograph of a tunnel that it said it had uncovered.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah.

"UNIFIL is working with all interlocutors in order to maintain the overall stability", she said.

Israel and Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia in southern Lebanon, had a month-long war in 2006 that ended in a ceasefire.

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