21:53 GMT18 May 2021
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    The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on 4 December announced the launch of the "Northern Shield" operation aimed at destroying the transboundary tunnels dug by the Lebanese Hezbollah movement to secretly transfer its militants to Israel.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged international criticism of Hezbollah and more sanctions against the terrorist group, declaring it a "flagrant violation of Israeli sovereignty" and "an additional part of Iran's aggression in the region," speaking to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by phone.

    "Netanyahu said that he expects the UN to strongly condemn the violation of Israel's sovereignty. The prime minister also told the UN secretary-general that the international community must join in the demand to impose increased sanctions on Hezbollah in the wake of the events", a statement from the prime minister's office read.

    Israeli officers have "presented the uncovered Hezbollah attack tunnel that had been dug from Lebanon to Israel", at a meeting with peacekeepers and representatives from the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Israeli military said in a statement.

    "The IDF expressed its protest to the serious violation of Israeli territory and UN Resolution 1701", the statement read citing a 2006 UN Security Council resolution calling for Hezbollah to withdraw from southern Lebanon following the Second Lebanon War, the last major conflict between the IDF and the terror group.

    READ MORE: 'Wholly Unacceptable': Guterres Slams Hezbollah Tunnels at Israeli Border

    The statements come after the IDF reported there was currently "more than one" tunnel even though none of them jeopardised the security of Israeli citizens because none of them are currently being used.

    The Lebanese Armed Forces responded to the Israeli operation by saying that they were ready for any developments on the border with Israel and were making efforts together with the UN forces to maintain stability in the area. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said that it had increased security patrols on the Lebanese-Israeli border to avoid potential escalation.


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    tunnels, operation, sanctions, UN resolution, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), United Nations, Hezbollah, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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