UN force con­firms ex­is­tence of tun­nel in Is­rael

Arab News - - News Middle East -

“UNIFIL is now en­gaged with the par­ties to pur­sue ur­gent fol­low-up ac­tion,” it said.

“It is very im­por­tant to de­ter­mine the full pic­ture of this se­ri­ous oc­cur­rence.”

Is­rael launched an op­er­a­tion dubbed “North­ern Shield” on Tues­day to de­stroy tun­nels it said were dug across the border by the mil­i­tant group Hezbol­lah.

As op­er­a­tions con­tin­ued on Thurs­day, the Is­raeli Army said it had con­tacted UNIFIL, which mon­i­tors the border re­gion, re­gard­ing a tun­nel orig­i­nat­ing on the Le­banese side of the border.

Yoel Strik, head of the army’s north­ern com­mand, de­manded the UN force “take ac­tion, in­ves­ti­gate and make sure to neu­tral­ize the shaft of that at­tack tun­nel.”

Le­banon’s For­eign Minister Gi­bran Bas­sil asked his coun­try’s am­bas­sador to the UN to “present a com­plaint against Is­rael,” his min­istry said in a state­ment.

He ac­cused Is­rael of car­ry­ing out a “diplo­matic and po­lit­i­cal cam­paign against Le­banon, pre­par­ing to launch ag­gres­sions against it,” he said.

On the Le­banese side of the border, res­i­dents in the town of Kafr Kila re­ceived a recorded voice mes­sage on their mo­bile phones in Ara­bic from Is­rael, the na­tional news agency said.

The mes­sage called on re­cip­i­ents to dis­tance them­selves from Hezbol­lah, NNA said.

“Your town will be ex­posed to dan­ger be­cause of the pres­ence of tun­nels linked to ( Hezbol­lah) near your homes,” the mes­sage re­port­edly said. It warned res­i­dents against co­op­er­at­ing with the mil­i­tant group.

Iran-backed Hezbol­lah is the only group in Le­banon not to have dis­armed af­ter the coun­try’s 1975-1990 civil war.

It earned its moniker “the Re­sis­tance” through fight­ing Is­rael, which oc­cu­pied south­ern Le­banon un­til 2000.

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