Hezbollah has constructed numerous attack tunnels from civilian villages in southern Lebanon across the border into Israel.
The purpose of the tunnels was to provide a way to surprise Israel in the next war by quickly infiltrating large numbers of terrorists to capture Israeli towns near the border. This would serve both as a diversion and also a huge propaganda win, even if the towns were retaken quickly.
Israel has known about the tunnels for at least two years, but only recently decided to go public in Operation Northern Shield. So far, Israel has publicly disclosed four tunnels, but there are believed to be several, maybe even dozens, more.
We have covered to operation in several posts:
- Israel launches Operation Northern Shield to destroy Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels
- That moment a Hezbollah terrorist comes face-to-face with an IDF camera in an attack tunnel
- Israeli Report: Hezbollah tunnel terrorist “trained with Mexican drug cartels near the United States border”
- Israel reveals discovery of third Hezbollah attack tunnel from Lebanon
- AUDIO: What Hezbollah tunnel digging sounds like
- Israel uncovers 4th Hezbollah attack tunnel
As part of Operation Northern Shield, Israel has been on a public relations campaign, including bringing diplomats and reporters to the tunnel digging operation. The point is much larger, it’s to show how Hezbollah has taken over the Lebanese state acting in concert with and through the nominal Lebanese Army. This is important because Israel has already announced that in the next war, unlike the 2006 war, the Lebanese Army and state will be considered legitimate targets because they are one and the same with Hezbollah’s military strategy.
It also shows the complete ineffectiveness of the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, under whose noses the tunnels were built.
As part of the public relations campaign, Israel brought reporters to witness the destruction of the first tunnels, including filling some of the tunnels with concrete slurry. But in the most dramatic move, Israel blew up one of the tunnels.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
The IDF issued a warning on Sunday to Lebanese citizens to “temporarily leave” homes over cross-border attack tunnels built by the Shi’ite Lebanese terrorist group.
“Hezbollah built terror tunnels under Kfar Kila and Ramiya that infiltrate into Israeli territory, making the area a barrel of explosives,” read a Twitter post by the IDF’s spokesperson for Arabic media, Maj. Avichay Adraee. “We are determined to neutralize these tunnels, and we do not know what the outcomes of these actions will be on the relevant buildings on the Lebanese side. Is it not time for you to insist that Hezbollah gives you clear answers? Are you living in safety when you know that your houses are located above a barrel of explosives? We recommend that you thoroughly consider temporarily leaving the relevant buildings for your safety.”
The IDF released video of one tunnel being blown up, as the Times of Israel reports:
The Israeli military on Friday morning released video footage of soldiers blowing up a cross-border tunnel that it said was dug by Hezbollah near the Israeli community of Zarit, along the Lebanese border.
In the video, filmed Thursday night, an Israel Defense Forces officer can be seen speaking into a megaphone and urging resident of the Lebanese town of Ramyeh on the other side of the border to clear the area for their own safety.
“We are about to blow up this tunnel built by Hezbollah,” the unnamed officer can be heard saying. “We ask you to evacuate the area immediately. You are in danger.”
The video then cuts to another officer, 300th Regional Brigade Commander Col. Roey Levi, ordering the demolition of the tunnel and then shows a series of explosions.
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