Hezbollah’s terror tunnel network has been financed by Iran and built by North Korean mining companies.
A day after an alleged Israeli drone strike eliminated Hamas’s second-in-command and a key planner of the October 7 massacre, Saleh al-Arouri, operating out of a Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon, the Iran-backed terrorist group has escalated its terrorist attacks along Israel’s northern border.
“Anti-tank fire from Lebanese territory slightly wounded two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers at a military post near the border, following an alleged Israeli targeted strike on senior Hamas officials in Lebanon,” the Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported. “There were also at least three attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria revealed Tuesday night.”
— Open Source Intel (@Osint613) January 3, 2024
Hezbollah, an even better funded terrorist group than Hamas, poses an even greater threat to Israel. While IDF soldiers and combat engineers risk their lives dismantling Hamas’s vast tunnel network spread across Gaza, Israel faces a much more significant challenge in the north, where the Iran-backed Hezbollah has created more extensive and far more advanced tunnel systems. Hezbollah’s terror tunnel network, financed by Iran, is larger and more sophisticated than what Hamas has managed to create at the cost of billions of dollars in Gaza.
The IDF says it struck a Hezbollah cell in southern Lebanon, and a fighter jet hit a site belonging to the terror group.
The airstrike comes amid repeated cross-border attacks carried out by Hezbollah.
The IDF says several missiles were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel in… pic.twitter.com/HEohCtRvve
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) January 3, 2024
Hezbollah, estimated to be the world’s biggest terrorist organization, has spent nearly two decades tunneling along Israel’s northern border. The underground web of terror tunnels in Lebanon is even bigger than Hamas’s ‘Gaza metro’, which is estimated to be over 300-miles-long. This subterranean network of tunnel shafts, command centers, and weapons depots has been financed by the Iranian regime and built by North Korean mining companies.
Two weeks ago, the IDF spokesman revealed one of the biggest attack tunnels in the Gaza Strip — four kilometers long, wide enough for vehicles to drive through, and running from Jabaliya, north of Gaza City, up until some 400 meters from the Erez border crossing into Israel.
While the tunnel did not cross the border, it presumably could have enabled terrorists on motorcycles and other vehicles to drive underground from the Jabaliya area and exit close to the border before IDF surveillance soldiers or patrols could block them. The IDF did not specify whether this was the case when 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists poured into Israel on October 7, slaughtering 1,200 people and abducting 240.
The uncovering of this vast tunnel, of which there are several more in Gaza, has revived discussion of similar tunnels near, at and under the Lebanon border — especially amid the ongoing clashes there with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist army, the forced evacuation of tens of thousands of Israeli residents of the north, and the Israeli leadership’s repeated insistence that Hezbollah must be forced back from the border and deterred.
The Lebanon tunnel project was begun and developed long before the one in Gaza. Existing intelligence indicates a vast tunnel network in southern Lebanon, deep and multi-pronged.
At the Alma Research and Education Center, which focuses on the security challenges on Israel’s northern border, researchers have spent many years investigating Lebanon’s underworld. Tal Beeri, the director of Alma’s Research Department, who served for decades in IDF intelligence units, has exposed that subterranean network in material based on considerable open-source intelligence.
Several years ago, Beeri managed to track down on the internet a “map of polygons,” covering what he called the “Land of the Tunnels” in southern Lebanon. “The map is marked, by an unknown party, with polygons (circles) indicating 36 geographic regions, towns and villages,” he wrote in 2021 paper.
“In our assessment, these polygons mark Hezbollah’s staging centers as part of the ‘defense’ plan against an Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Each local staging center (‘defense’) possesses a network of local underground tunnels. Between all these centers, an infrastructure of regional tunnels was built, interconnected [with] them.”
Beeri assessed that the cumulative length of Hezbollah’s tunnel network in south Lebanon amounts to hundreds of kilometers.
Since October 7, Hezbollah has relentlessly fired rockets and shells into northern Israel, displacing around 80,000 Israelis. Amid reports that the IDF is closing in on Hamas’s Gaza-based leadership, Hezbollah has intensified cross-border attacks, heightening the prospect of an armed conflict along Israel’s northern border.
Weeks after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made his first public statement, threatening to step up cross-border strikes on Israel. The Shia-Islamic terrorist militia has since escalated attacks in northern Israel.
We at the Legal Insurrection have long been reporting on the threat posed by Hezbollah’s terror tunnels. I noted in a March 2016 post that “Since 2003, North Korean engineers have been building underground facilities for the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, often drilling directly into solid rocks. Iran hired the North Korean mining company “Korean Mining Development Company” to build Hezbollah’s underground terror infrastructure.”
The Israeli think tank Alma Research and Education Center explained in a 2021 report that “after the Second Lebanon War of 2006, Hezbollah, with the help of the North Koreans and the Iranians, set up a project forming a network of “inter-regional” tunnels in Lebanon, a network significantly larger than the “Hamas” metro (in our assessment, Hamas used Iranian and North Korean knowledge to build its tunnels as well).”
This tunnel network runs across Lebanon, connecting the Hezbollah leadership to the forward terrorist bases. “It is not merely a network of offensive and infrastructure local tunnels, in or near villages, it’s a network of tens of kilometers of regional tunnels that extend and connect the Beirut area (Hezbollah’s central headquarters) and the Beqaa area (Hezbollah’s logistical operational rear base) to southern Lebanon (which is divided into two staging areas named by Hezbollah “the lines of defense”),” the think tank added.DONATE
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