The Israeli army started on Thursday night to destroy the tunnels that Hezbollah drilled on the Lebanese border, a spokesman said, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus. Since launching a vast operation on December 4, the army claims to have located four tunnels for military purposes.
“The explosions in the western area of the border are due to the activities of the army to destroy and neutralize Hezbollah’s attack tunnels,” the army said in a statement.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus issued a serious warning to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, one of Israel’s great enemies, in a position of strength just across the border.
“We have at our disposal infantry units, armored units, aviation in standby mode and naval units, all of which are synchronized, ready to receive clear and prepared orders for numerous scenarios,” said Conricus.
This operation serves as “a message to Hezbollah that we will not tolerate any movement of approach or attempted interference in our efforts to destroy these cross-border tunnels,” he said.
The tunnels were to serve Hezbollah to kidnap or kill Israeli soldiers or civilians, and to seize a strip of Israeli territory in the event of hostilities, according to Israel.
If the Israeli army said it had located four so far along the nearly 80 km border, he said there are others and would continue working to neutralize them.
The last major confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel dates back to 2006 when 33 days of war left 1,200 dead on the Lebanese side, and 160 on the Israeli side, without neutralizing the Shiite movement. Israel and Lebanon are still technically in a state of war.
However, the tunnels did not represent a threat to the civilian population when they were detected. The Israeli army said it only destroyed them on its side of the border.