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Israel Commits to Destroying Tunnels along Lebanese Borders, Stresses Iran’s Responsibility

Israel Commits to Destroying Tunnels along Lebanese Borders, Stresses Iran’s Responsibility

Thursday, 6 December, 2018 - 08:45
Israeli soldiers walk near a site that Israel says it hides a tunnel set up by Hezbollah across the border (AFP)
Tel Aviv- Nazir Majli
As the Israeli army maintains its operations to locate and destroy Hezbollah’s tunnels along the borders, military sources in Tel Aviv confirmed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement about an Iranian plan to use the tunnels to send thousands of fighters to occupy towns in northern Israel.

The sources said that the IRGC’s Quds Force, led by Qassem Soleimani, was behind training the fighters to carry out the purported plans.

In this context, Israel’s representatives abroad have used the recent reports to demand stronger sanctions against Hezbollah.

These sources said that two groups of fighters, from Iraq and Lebanon, which were operating in complete secrecy in both Syria and Lebanon, have been subjected to harsh training in the last five years and have been merged with forces that fought in Syria and Iraq.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center in Tel Aviv, the two forces have been assigned with strategic military operations against Israel. The emergence of the reports came in parallel with continued excavations by the Israeli army on the northern border in the search for tunnels in the area.

On Wednesday, a tripartite coordination meeting was held between the Israeli army, UNIFIL and the Lebanese army at the Ras al-Naqoura crossing. Although the meeting was previously scheduled to discuss normal matters on the border between the two countries, it focused on the Israeli "military operation" in the search for tunnels in the region.

Earlier this week, the Israeli army said it tracked cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah and started an operation to destroy them in a move that is expected to increase tension between the two sides. Hezbollah on Tuesday watched the operation but remained silent.

The recent Israeli operation was widely criticized in Israel, and accusations pointed that Netanyahu has ordered its implementation to cover corruption scandals against him.

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