Dec. 6 (UPI) — The Israeli military said Thursday it’s found a new tunnel that runs beneath the Israel-Lebanon border they believe was created by militant group Hezbollah.
Officials said the tunnel is being dug from the Lebanese village of Ramyeh and has already crossed into Israeli territory. Authorities said, though, it does not pose a threat to residents.
Israeli Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick said he’s asked the United Nations for help destroying the tunnel. He’s started an operation called Northern Shield created to root out the tunnel and others like it, Haaretz reported.
“We are denying our enemies the tunnels weapon in a systematic, determined manner and we will do whatever it takes,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting ambassadors at a briefing Thursday.
“When it ends, the tunnel weapon Hezbollah invested in will no longer be effective. Anyone who attacks us, his blood be on his own head. Hezbollah and Hamas know this.”
Yuval Rotem, director-general of the Israeli foreign affairs ministry, said Tuesday the operation is critical to Israel’s security because Hezbollah is backed by Iran.
“Hezbollah is a dangerous terror organization, at the service of the ayatollahs in Teheran,” Rotem said in a Twitter post. “Israel is committed to protecting its citizens and its territory.”
Northern Command officers said they believe it’ll take weeks to find all the tunnels and destroy them. They believe they can find the group’s entire tunnel network.
Some former Israeli military officials and opposition figures have accused Netanyahu of exaggerating the operation, giving the impression it’s an offensive campaign.