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Israel uncovers 6th and largest Hezbollah attack tunnel

Israel uncovers 6th and largest Hezbollah attack tunnel

Netanyahu: “In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the intl. airport in Damascus…. At the same time, the IDF exposed a 6th tunnel, the largest of all, that crossed into Israeli territory. This brings Operation Northern Shield to a successful close.”

Israel’s Operation Northern Shield continues to uncover Hezbollah attack tunnels dug from Lebanese civilian areas under the border into northern Israel.

The purpose of the tunnels was to surprise Israel in the next war by infiltrating special Hezbollah commando units who have been tasked with capturing an Israeli town or border community. While such a capture would be temporary, it would be a large propaganda victory.


The tunnels’ existence has been known to Israel for months or years, but Israel only decided to act starting in early December. The reason for that timing is not clear.

We have been covering the tunnel discovery efforts since they began in early December 2018:

Israel now has disclosed a 6th tunnel, the largest and most advanced so far.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

According to the military, the tunnel was the largest tunnel discovered so far, stretching hundreds of meters from the southern Lebanese village of Ramiya and infiltrated several dozen meters into northern Israel.

The tunnel, which had been dug at a depth of 55 meters (180 feet), was the most important one detected since the operation began in December, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said.

According to him, the stairs were built in the tunnel which contained “railroads to transport equipment, garbage, lighting equipment and ladders to enter Israeli territory. A lot of resources were invested in this tunnel.”

With the discovery of this latest tunnel and its destruction set for the coming days, he added, “the threat posed by the tunnels has been eliminated.”

This satellite map shows how close the area is to several Israeli communities:,+Lebanon/@33.0923613,35.2944581,5791m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x151c2a2423a176e3:0x377091770322c230!8m2!3d33.1088767!4d35.3125573

As before, Israel is releasing video and photos of the tunnel:

[Click Image for video]

In an interesting move, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu not only visited the border area, he announced that a recent airstrike in Syria was conducted by Israel targeting Iranian weapons. Israel rarely acknowledges such attacks, so for Netanyahu to make such a statement is a direct taunt to Iran and Hezbollah.

“In the past 48 hours, Israel attacked an Iranian weapons warehouse at the intl.airport in Damascus. This reflects our consistent policy and strong determination to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria. If necessary, we will step up these attacks …

Netanyahu also declared that the 6th tunnel discovery brought Operation Northern Shield to a successful conclusion:

At the same time, the IDF exposed a 6th tunnel, the largest of all, that crossed into Israeli territory. This brings Operation Northern Shield to a successful close.”

Is this really the end of the Hezbollah tunnels? The Times of Israel reports that Israel believes it has found all the tunnels already crossing the border, but that there are others still under construction on the Lebanese side:

“According to our intelligence and our assessment of the situation there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel,” army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters….

“In addition, the IDF is monitoring and is in possession of a number of sites where Hezbollah is digging underground infrastructure that has yet to cross into Israeli territory,” the army said.

Operation Northern Shield has to be viewed in the larger context of Iranian plans, using Lebanese Hezbollah and tens of thousands of Shiite fighters imported from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, to open a northern front against Israel.

Israel is sending a signal that it’s not going to sit by and let that happen.


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JusticeDelivered | January 13, 2019 at 2:22 pm

I doubt that there is anything which Israel can do to make these people hate them more than they already do, so each tunnel entrance which is outside Israel should be fuel air bombed. Cleanse those areas of life, one bomb could clean up a 600 meter radius, better yet, lay more bombs down in a spiral, expanding the DMZ. Israel really needs to help these gophers understand terror.

    The IDF lawyers would probably order it to refuse such an order, and the High Court would back them up. And Netanyahu refuses to take on the legal establishment that is the true though unelected government of Israel.

The tunnels’ existence has been known to Israel for months or years, but Israel only decided to act starting in early December. The reason for that timing is not clear.

It’s very simple. An election is coming March 9th, so he has to burnish his security credentials to fend of challenges from the right. Bennett and Feiglin are both breathing down his neck, and Gantz and Ya’alon have military cred that he hasn’t. He has to convince security-minded voters that he is on top of things, and urge them not to split the right by voting for actual defense hawks, people who aren’t compromised, as he is, by decades of accepting Oslo and an eventual “Palestinian” state as a done deal.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Milhouse. | January 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    The Operation commenced in early December, and was put into gear weeks before that. The coalition collapsed and new elections were call in late December.

    mrzee in reply to Milhouse. | January 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    While never reaching as high a military rank as Ya’alon or Gantz, Netanyahu has plenty of military cred as a former member of Sayeret Matkal.

      Milhouse in reply to mrzee. | January 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

      Bennett was in Sayeret too. And of course there are all the generals. But far more important is Netanyahu’s record on security, which is extremely weak, and the right-wing public knows it, which is why he needs to pump it up before an election.

      The first major decision he made when he first became PM was to give Hevron away. He propped up Sharon until the Gaza expulsion was a done deal, before dramatically washing his hands of it. He was responsible for the Shalit exchange. He ignored the warnings of Gaza tunnels until they were impossible to wish away. Though he denies it, there’s a fair bit of evidence he once offered Assad Sr the Golan.

      So before an election, especially when faced with two challengers from the right, he decides to pull this tunnel issue out of the drawer and use it to boost himself as “Mr Security”. We all remember what the original “Mr Security” ended up doing to the country.

What tremendous restraint by the IDF not to sit on the exit and play “Wack-a-Mole” for as long as they’ve known about the tunnels.

    For all the smart things Israel does, warning people that are trying to kill them that their conduit for murder is about to be blown up is very stupid.

    Israel’s treating terrorists like American welfare dependents will ALWAYS backfire.

Since they knew about and presumably monitored the tunnel digging activities, the Israelis let Hezbollah waste resources on these tunnels that would never be effective. I am sure there was a political aspect to the timing of exposing the knowledge and destroying the tunnels.

    Ragspierre in reply to TheChemist. | January 13, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    Obviously correct. There is always an essential political component to war.

    Every person involved in the tunnel, where they are going to/from, who they are meeting with, who is paying for it is the equally important discovery

    The tunnel is not the only thing that is going to disappear.

The stupidity behind the tunneling baffles me … Israel has likely tasked a satellite to watch for activity on the borders, which together with land-based infrared monitoring, seismic monitors, drones, etc., Israeli intelligence almost certainly knows about the tunneling activities while still in process.

I imagine those same satellites watch characters come and go, at both ends of the tunnel, wherein human intelligence operatives on the ground can identify them and ultimately the groups involved.

What kind of stupidity keeps building tunnels with the technology prevalent today, and as often as they are discovered and destroyed?

Thank G-d for habitually stupid enemies!

And Leftists and their media allies blame Israelis for the fact that the Arabs in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria can’t build stable and peaceful societies that can co-exist with Israel. Hmmm — maybe, it’s because those Arabs are squandering all of their energy, intellects, money and international aid on building terrorist infrastructure, stockpiling weapons and engaging in other non-productive endeavors in service of their fervent jihadist mandate?

Several bunker busting bombs should do the trick.