Jerusalem – Hezbollah militants have worked to block some of their cross-border attack tunnels after four of them have been uncovered by the Israeli military, the IDF said Tuesday.
In a new video released by the IDF inside one of four Hezbollah tunnels there is a “visible attempt to block the tunnel, which appears to have been carried out by the terrorist organization Hezbollah during the past few days,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in statement.
While the military did not disclose the location of the tunnel, it stated that it’s effort to expose and neutralize terrorist tunnels is continuing as planned and information on it’s operation is being shared with the heads of all local authorities in the north.
“The tunnels, like the additional ones that are currently in the process of being exposed,” the military said in a statement, stressing that none of those discovered constitute a threat to the residents of Israel.
Once the tunnels are exposed by Israel they are filled with explosives to prevent their use by Hezbollah militants ahead of their destruction.
The release of the video documentation came a day after the military allowed CNN’s Ian Lee to drop a camera several meters into a tunnel “large enough for an NBA player to stand in” and complete with ventilation shafts and lights.
In the video released by the IDF on Tuesday filmed by a small robot, visible additions of concrete reinforcements in the stone which they drilled through to build the tunnels.
“From the moment the terrorist tunnels are exposed, IDF soldiers are working on learning about them through various means, including photography and research capabilities,” read the statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s unit.
The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield in early December in order to detect and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels dug by the Iranian-backed Shiite organization. Israel has already exposed four, including two near the northern community of Metula.
Dozens of other sophisticated Hezbollah tunnels are believed to have been dug along the 130 kilometer border between the two countries and the operation-which has been planned over the course of two years-is expected to take several weeks to complete.
Israel believes that the tunnels would have been used by the Hezbollah’s elite Radwan unit to infiltrate into Israel in an attempt to take control of the community and kill as many civilians and troops as possible.
While the IDF said that it only plans to operate against the Hezbollah attack tunnels on the Israeli side of the border, Lebanon fears that Israel won’t be bound by that limitation and will also operate against the tunnels in southern Lebanon.
Israel maintains that the UN Peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) must act to destroy the tunnels on the Lebanese side of the border
On Monday Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Lebanese Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, met UNIFIL Commander, General Stefano Del Col to discuss the situation in southern Lebanon.
According to Lebanon’s National News Agency Hariri assured Del Col that Lebanon is fully committed to the implementation of Resolution 1701 and the respect of the Blue Line. The Lebanese Armed Forces, he said, will conduct patrols and “deal with any flaw in the implementation of resolution 1701 from the Lebanese side” but that the UN “must shoulder its responsibilities in facing the daily violations by Israel of Lebanese airspace and territorial waters.”