The IDF has begun the process of destroying the Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels it has discovered, The Times of Israel reported Friday.
Iran's annual funding of Hezbollah in Lebanon to attack Israel: 1 billion dollars.
Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnel: A few million dollars.
Destroying this attack tunnel and protecting Israeli civilians: Priceless.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 21, 2018
After broadcasting a warning in Arabic across the border into the southern Lebanese village of Ramiya, telling residents to move out of the area for their own safety, the IDF detonated explosives in the tunnel on the Israeli side of the border.
“We are about to blow up this tunnel built by Hezbollah,” an officer is heard saying in a video of the tunnel’s destruction. “We ask you to evacuate the area immediately. You are in danger.”
“The neutralization and destruction phase of Hezbollah’s cross-border attack tunnels begun yesterday and is led by the combat engineering units of the Northern Command and the Yahalom (Special Combat Engineering) Unit,” the IDF explained in a statement.
On Thursday, the IDF said that it would destroy some tunnels, but others would be sealed or neutralized to render them unusable for Hezbollah to use to launch attacks into Israel.
The different approaches to rendering the tunnels unusable will be dictated by how they were constructed.
“Some of them have concrete components, some of them were dug into the living rock,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus explained. “Each tunnel has a tailored [destruction] technique.”
Israel has deployed extra troops near the border with Lebanon to deter Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terror group, from attempting any retaliatory attacks as the IDF destroys the tunnels.
In early December, Israel announced that it was launching Operation Northern Shield to seek and destroy the terror tunnels that Hezbollah had built, allowing terrorists to cross into Israel from Lebanon. Subsequently, Israel reported that it had discovered three more tunnels, bringing the total to four.
The IDF believes that Hezbollah has built the tunnels to allow infiltrators to cross into Israel and attack the 22 communities near the border with Lebanon. Hezbollah has stated that it intends to attack the Galilee in its next war with Israel. It is suspected that Hezbollah terrorists plan to try and capture territory inside of Israel and claim victory.
After the first tunnel was discovered, a senior IDF officer said that the Israeli army assessed that Hezbollah’s goal was to allow infiltrators to enter Israel and cut off the northern city of Metulla from the rest of Israel.
A UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss the threat of the tunnels — two of which had been deemed violations of Security Council Resolution 1701 by the UN’s own peacekeeping force — ended inconclusively; failing to condemn Hezbollah as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked.
[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Twitter ]