Lebanon's president orders 'close monitoring' of Israeli anti-tunnel operation

Lebanon's president orders 'close monitoring' of Israeli anti-tunnel operation

Lebanon's president orders 'close monitoring' of Israeli anti-tunnel operation

Overnight Monday the Israeli Army launched an operation to destroy Hezbollah's cross-border terror tunnels from Lebanon into Israel.

"More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security", Bolton said.

The tunnel was the first to be discovered as part of the IDF's "Operation Northern Shield" which it says aims to prevent and destroy underground tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israeli territory. He said the Israeli operation to counter the tunnels would be inside Israel, and would not cross the border.

Last year, Hezbollah's leader said any future conflict with Israel could take place inside Israeli territory, and there would be "no place that is out of reach of the rockets of the resistance or the boots of the resistance fighters".

Hezbollah would use firepower and ground units and "the surprise component of that plan was supposed to be tunnels that would allow infiltrators into Israel", he claimed. It accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of launching the military operation along the Lebanese border in order to distract from his domestic woes. A Lebanese army source said the situation was calm on its side of the border, as did United Nations peacekeepers operating there.

It announced the operation on Twitter on Tuesday, saying that a number of areas close to Lebanon's border, including Metula, had been declared a closed military zone.

"During President Aoun's phone calls, the situation was evaluated in light of the available information about the objectives of the Israeli operation and security agencies were asked to closely monitor the situation", the report said, quoting the official National News Agency.

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He claimed that Hezbollah has been developing an offensive plan that would "shift the battleground into Israel".

"At this time, the IDF is carrying out an operational and engineering process to neutralize the tunnel", an army spokesperson said Tuesday.

The IDF added that it had "enhanced its presence and readiness in the Northern Command and is prepared for various scenarios".

Tensions are high between Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war in 2006.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against what it says are Iranian military targets and deliveries of advanced arms to Hizbullah.

Israeli officials have long warned the threat posed by Gaza's Hamas rulers pales in comparison to that of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah - a heavily-armed mini-army with valuable combat experience and an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost every part of Israel.

Russian Federation subsequently upgraded Syrian air defences with the delivery of the advanced S-300 system, which Damascus had said last month would make Israel "think carefully" before carrying out further air raids.

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