Israel demands border tunnel be destroyed
JERUSALEM: Israel told Lebanon’s army and UN peacekeepers yesterday to destroy a tunnel it said had been dug by the Iranianbacked Hizbollah movement across the border into Israeli territory.
Israel’s military said this week it had identified some passages and sent diggers and troops close the frontier to block them.
The peacekeepers, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), confirmed the existence of a tunnel near the ‘‘blue line’’ frontier between the two countries yesterday, describing it as a ‘‘serious occurrence’’.
Israel said its operation would stop on its side of the border. But Israeli media on Wednesday quoted a unnamed senior official saying Israel could broaden its actions into Lebanon.
There was no immediate reaction from Hizbollah or Lebanese authorities.
A US attempt to get the United Nations to condemn violence by Palestinian militant group Hamas for the first time failed yesterday because the draft resolution fell short of votes needed in the General Assembly.
The resolution required twothirds support and while assembly resolutions are nonbinding, they can carry political weight. The US text received 87 votes in favour, 58 against and 32 abstentions. Sixteen countries did not vote.
The US is working on a longawaited plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but the Palestinians have accused the Trump administration of siding with Israel on core issues.
For more than a decade Gaza has been controlled by Hamas under an IsraeliEgyptian blockade. The economy has collapsed, creating what the World Bank describes as a humanitarian crisis. — Reuters