Israel launches operation to destroy Hezbollah tunnelstext_fields
Jerusalem: Israel on Tuesday launched a military operation to destroy tunnels infiltrating its territory from Lebanon which were allegedly dug by the Hezbollah.
"We have just launched Operation Northern Shield to expose and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel," the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) tweeted.
After the war with Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah began developing extensive underground infrastructure and in 2012 launched operation 'Conquering the Galilee', IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said.
Two years later, Israel detected that the group had shared information with Hamas - the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs Gaza - which also developed a powerful underground infrastructure at the border of the Gaza Strip with Israel and Egypt.
Israel then put together a joint force with the Northern Command, Israeli Combat Engineering Corps, Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure and the Military Intelligence to detect threats from the attack tunnels at the Lebanon border called the 'blue line'.
Conricus added that the tunnels represent a clear violation of Israel's sovereignty and demonstrate Hezbollah's indifference to the UN resolutions.
While the tunnels infiltrated Israeli territory, they were discovered before becoming operational and posed no imminent threat to the Israeli civilian population.
The tunnels were another example of Iran's "entrenchment" in the region, the spokesperson said.