IDF Launches Operation Northern Shield To Expose Hezbollah Attack Tunnels Inside Israel
The IDF launched an operation in the early hours of Tuesday morning to “expose and neutralize attack tunnels being dug by Hezbollah into Israeli territory,” a military spokesman said.
The IDF said Operation Northern Shield was ongoing inside Israeli territory and involved Military Intelligence, the Engineering Corps and the Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT).
A statement said that the IDF had boosted troops deployments in the north in preparedness for any possible developments and that a number of areas had been declared closed military zones.
Chief IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said the operation had been launched after “operational conditions had ripened” following years of work led by the general staff.
“Boring tunnels [into Israel] is a gross violation of Israeli sovereignty” Manelis said. “The terrorist organization Hezbollah is ignoring United Nations resolutions – first and foremost resolution 1701 – and is operating from within villages in southern Lebanon, putting Lebanese citizens at risk, in order to build up its terror infrastructure,” Manelis added.
A designated team from Military Intelligence and Northern Command had been working since 2014 on intelligence and technological solutions to tunnels being dug in the north and had developed “wide ranging knowledge and capabilities” to combat Hezbollah’s tunneling project, the IDF statement said.
“In recent years and as part of the deployment against the threat, we have put in place a defensive plan in the sector that includes fencing, solidification and exposure. The aim of this defensive plan is to prevent the enemy from carrying out its offensive plans.”