Israel Secretly Trained in Europe to Destroy Hezbollah Tunnels

Author and Middle East Expert Caroline Glick

According to a senior IDF officer, the operation, which is expected to last several weeks, has caught Hezbollah off guard and has very much embarrassed the Shi'ite militia.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission meanwhile said Wednesday it will send a team to Israel to "ascertain facts", calling for full access to all locations along the border. "We are talking about engineering activity ...", she said, accusing Netanyahu of "blowing the incident out of proportion".

The comments came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed a group of foreign diplomats on the northern border.

Stepping up an worldwide pressure campaign against Hezbollah, the terror group responsible for the tunnel, Israel hosted the commander of UNIFIL on Thursday, showing him one of the tunnels along the Israel-Lebanon border and urging the force to take action across the border.

"I told the ambassadors that they should condemn this aggression by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, unequivocally, and of course also to intensify the sanctions against these elements", he said in a Hebrew-language statement.

In a statement from his office, he said Israel plans to demand a response from the worldwide community at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council called for by Israel.

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Israel launched an operation dubbed "Northern Shield" on Tuesday to destroy tunnels it said were dug across the border by Hizbullah.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, told reporters Thursday that the army is now operating in three areas where tunnels have been discovered. Gen. Yoel Strik, on Thursday gave Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col, encouraged both sides to reduce "the high level of rhetoric", avoid misunderstandings, and ensure that security and stability along the United Nations -drawn Blue Line "is maintained and reinforced", United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in NY. It called on Israel to present specific coordinates and information about the location of such tunnels.

The military said it had located one such tunnel dug from a home in the Kfar Kila area of south Lebanon that crossed into Israeli territory and was working to "neutralize" it.

"This is another example of Iran's revolutionary foreign policy that is expansionist and destabilizing for the Middle East when Iranian backed Hezbollah is digging tunnels into another country beneath their borders", said Brian Hook, the Trump administration's top Iran envoy.

Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for the actions of Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terror group that enjoys significant political power in Lebanon and maintains am worldwide criminal network that traffics in illegal narcotics and money laundering.

"That campaign is being accompanied by a number of extremely serious acts, of which the most recent is that Israel has breached the Lebanese communications grid by hacking into the telephone network and sending recorded messages to peaceable civilian inhabitants.warning them of imminent explosions to take place on Lebanese territory that might put their lives at risk", the Lebanese complaint argued. "These tunnels could explode".

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