Third Hezbollah Attack Tunnel Found By IDF, UNIFIL Head Meets With Lebanese President
The IDF confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it had found a third Hezbollah attack tunnel infiltrating into Israel from Lebanon.
This comes as Operation Northern Shield, which aims to find and destroy Hezbollah attack tunnels, enters its second week.
In a statement, the IDF said soldiers had placed explosives in the Hezbollah attack tunnel, which was exposed on Tuesday, warning Hezbollah terrorists to “enter at your own risk.”
“The Lebanese government is responsible for digging the tunnels from Lebanese territory. This is a serious violation of Resolution 1701 and the sovereignty of the State of Israel.” the IDF said, adding that the route of the tunnel is under IDF control and poses no threat.
“The route, like the rest of the tracks, is trapped by the IDF and anyone who enters it on its Lebanese side endangers their life,” it added.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon said it had confirmed the existence of a second tunnel close to the blue line, which separates Lebanon and Israel.
UNIFIL said it “is continuing to follow up on this issue in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces,” adding that it is a “serious matter.”
UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Michael Beary said that he had had a very productive meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri in Beirut on Tuesday.
“I briefed the President and the Speaker on developments in connection with tunnels along the Blue Line,” he said. “This is a serious matter and UNIFIL is working in close coordination with the parties both at the technical level as well as at the leadership level to ensure that all related facts are objectively determined and diligently addressed in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.”
Beary emphasized that at the same time, “rumours and speculations should be avoided, and I have assured the President and the Speaker that UNIFIL will continue to share its findings with the appropriate authorities in Lebanon based on facts that are independently verified by UNIFIL.
“I briefed the President and the Speaker on my recent visit to a location near Metulla where technical experts from UNIFIL carried out a site inspection to confirm the existence of a tunnel,” he said. “Yesterday a UNIFIL technical team led by the Deputy Force Commander verified the existence of a second tunnel north of the previous one in the same general area.”
He added that UNIFIL is continuing to follow up on this issue in close coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.
He made it clear that UNIFIL will make every effort to “maintain clear and credible channels” of communication with both sides so that there is no room for misunderstanding “on this sensitive matter.”
According to Beary, the most important matter is to maintain “the calm and stability along the Blue Line.
“I am encouraged to hear from both parties that they have no intention to escalate the situation along the Blue Line and they are keen to continue working with UNIFIL to this end,” he concluded.