Israel says it has found all Hezbollah tunnels on Lebanon border

Israeli army says its troops have found six tunnels since an operation was launched in December.

Israeli soldiers carry gear the morning after the Israeli military said it had launched an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon, in Israel''s northernmost town Metu
The Israeli military operation to 'expose and thwart' cross-border attacks from Lebanon uncovered six tunnels [Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

Israel says it has completely dismantled a series of tunnels under its border with Lebanon, which it claims were dug by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

A military spokesman said the Israeli army would now end its operation to find and destroy the tunnels that it said the armed group wanted to use to conduct cross border attacks.    

“According to our intelligence and our assessment of the situation there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel,” Israeli Officer Jonathan Conricus said.

Israel launched “Operation Northern Shield” on December 4 to find and destroy what it described as a vast network, with troops finding six tunnels in total.

Conricus said the latest tunnel originated in the Lebanese border town of Ramyeh and was found Saturday night.

It was 55 metres deep and ran 800 metres inside Lebanese territory and “dozens” of metres into Israel, he said, adding that it included stairs, a rail system, and a wide passageway that allowed for the movement of equipment, and a large number of forces, he added.

The Israeli military said the structure would be destroyed in the next few days.

Hezbollah has not commented on the Israeli operation, which Israel says occurred within its own territory.

News agencies have not independently verified the Israeli description of the tunnels, however, the Israeli army did release edited footage showing the inside of the one found in Ramyeh.

Israel also accused Hezbollah of planning to use the tunnels to seize territory from Israel in the event of conflict. It has said, however, that the tunnels were not yet operational.

Both Israel and the United Nations say the tunnels violate a ceasefire resolution that ended fighting between the two sides during the 2006 Lebanon War.

The Israeli military said its forces would stay deployed along the border area to ensure there was no further underground activity.

Source: News Agencies