Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that the ongoing “Northern Shield” operation, aimed at destroying Hezbollah’s tunnels on the border with Lebanon, could spill over to the territory of the neighbouring country, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.
“There is a major chance that we will act on the territory of Lebanon in the course of the ‘Northern Shield’ operation to detect and eliminate Hezbollah’s tunnels, which cross the Israeli border”, he said.
The statement was reportedly made as Netanyahu was showing foreign diplomats the Israeli border with Lebanon and one of the tunnels that the Israeli Army had discovered during the course of the operation.
“We are systematically taking the tunnels weapon from our enemies and we will act decisively and systematically against anyone who attacks us”, he said.
During this demonstration, the Israeli prime minister urged diplomats to support the imposition of hash sanctions against Hezbollah and condemn its alleged violation of Israel’s sovereignty.
Lebanon slammed Tel Aviv’s claims that Hezbollah had dug tunnels coming from its territory and demanded that Israel provide detailed information about the location of the alleged tunnels.
Israel announced its “Northern Shield” operation on 4 December, vowing to eliminate all underground tunnels coming from Lebanese territory. According to Tel Aviv, these tunnels are being used by Hezbollah to covertly smuggle its fighters and weapons into Israeli territory for subsequent attacks against the country.
‘Iran’s Entrenchment in Syria Stopped’
An anonymous senior Israeli official also told Haaretz that there is a possibility for an Israeli operation on Lebanese territory, especially if Tel Aviv detects a transfer of Iranian weapons to Lebanon.
“If there is a weapons transfer route from Iran to Lebanon, Lebanon will be in deep trouble”, the source said.
The official also said that Israel had managed to stop “Iran’s entrenchment in Syria” and added that Tehran had allegedly decreased the money flow used to strengthen its positions there. The source claimed that the latter happened due to imposition of US sanctions against Iran.
Iran denies having troops present in Syria, insisting that it has only sent military advisers there at the request of Damascus. Tehran added that they would remain in the Arab Republic as long as they are needed.