Israel launches attack on Lebanon, claims destroying Hezbollah tunnels

Israeli soldiers guard near the border with Lebanon in the town of Metulla northern Israel

Israeli soldiers guard near the border with Lebanon in the town of Metulla northern Israel

On Monday, Netanyahu met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels.

The Israeli military says it has launched an operation meant to "expose and thwart" tunnels built on the border by the Hezbollah militant group.

"The tunnel extended from under a home in southern Lebanon, extending 600 feet through solid rock and penetrating into Israel", the report said. "We will continue with other actions, overt and covert, in order to ensure Israel's security". I also said that there is more than meets the eye.

On Tuesday, bulldozers and military vehicles were seen operating near the pastoral Israeli border town of Metula.

All operations would take place within Israeli territory, Conricus said, though they still raised the risk of a response from Hezbollah.

Some areas near the border fence had been closed off. The group would use firepower and ground units and "the surprise component of that plan was supposed to be tunnels that would allow infiltrators into Israel".

Israeli forces have opened a wide offensive to destroy "attack tunnels" allegedly excavated by the Shia Hezbollah militia under the border with Lebanon.

"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.

No tunnels from Lebanon include exit points within Israel, the army said.

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It said the army had "enhanced its presence and readiness" and was prepared for "various scenarios".

Israeli drilling equipment is seen next to the border with Lebanon, near the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila, seen from the Israel's side December 4, 2018.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest of Netanyahu's ceasefire in Gaza on November 14, which made Netanyahu officially the defense minister.

The premier had said that elections now would be "irresponsible" due to the undefined security threats.

Still, the Israeli army has warned farmers not to approach the border, while Hezbollah has put its forces on high alert. On Sunday, Israeli police recommended indicting him on charges of corruption and bribery in one of three criminal investigations into his conduct.

Conricus rejected suggestions of politics influencing the announcement. 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.

There has been increased attention in Israel in recent days over Israeli officials' concerns regarding Iranian activity in Lebanon.

Hezbollah is backed by Iran, Israel's main enemy.

However, a friendly fire incident in Syria in September that led to the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian air defences during an Israeli strike has complicated Israeli operations.

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