Israeli surveillance cameras inside a cross-border terror tunnel dug by Hezbollah caught a Hezbollah terrorist as he attempted to infiltrate into Israel.
The video footage (see below) released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is part of a newly-announced “Operation Northern Shield,” a campaign designed to “expose and neutralize cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah,” the powerful Lebanese terror organization.
The IDF announced they would be destroying a number of tunnels and sent warnings in Arabic to Lebanese citizens telling them to stay away from the sites. The tunnels were reported to not yet be operational but believed to part of a future offensive strategy by Hezbollah to attack the northern Israeli region known as the Galilee.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 4, 2018
According to Israeli military assessments, Hezbollah has the largest and most powerful military in the Middle East after Israel.
The U.S. immediately announced its support for the operation. “The US strongly supports Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on Hezbollah to stop its tunnelling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence,” said National Security Adviser John Bolton, who also blamed the threat to Israel on Iran.
“More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security,” he continued.
At the United Nations, Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon called out the Security Council for failing to condemn Hezbollah for violating its own resolution (1701), which forbids such activity by Hezbollah.
“The Security Council … [told] Hezbollah that it must not arm itself [or] continue its terrorist activities against Israel. Yet, this did not prevent them from continuing their operations, and now they are also trying to infiltrate into Israel through tunnels. It is clear that Hezbollah shows willful disregard towards the Security Council and aggressively violated Resolution 1701,” Danon said.
According to the IDF, the tunnel, which took two years to dig, was 189 meters long, two meters wide and tall, and located 27 meters below the surface. It was equipped with electrical and communication systems.
The IDF campaign was launched to destroy this tunnel, along with others, before they became operational.
More than a dozen tunnels, some long and sophisticated, have been discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border. At present, they are used to smuggle drugs, however with the increased presence of Hezbollah south of the U.S. border, it is likely that they will be used in the future for terror purposes.