The IDF Spokesman’s Office on Motzei Shabbos confirmed that a second terror tunnel was discovered connecting from Southern Lebanon to Northern Israel, as Operation Northern Shield continues.
The announcement came shortly after IDF troops fired at suspected members of the Lebanese terror group who approached the site of Israeli army engineering working to thwart tunnels.
The official notification to the media states the IDF is in control of the tunnel and explosives were placed in the tunnel to prevent infiltration into Israel. “Anyone entering it from the Lebanese side places his life in danger”. The spokesman adds, “The IDF is currently working to study the route of the tunnel.
“The Lebanese government is responsible for the tunnels that were dug from Lebanese territory. This is a serious violation of Resolution 1701 and the sovereignty of the State of Israel.
“During the weekend, IDF forces continued operations in the area under stormy weather and will continue to operate according to the orderly plan approved for the continued detection and exposure of terrorist tunnels.”
A first tunnel was discovered and neutralized last week in the early stage of the operation, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated would continue for “as long as necessary,” which he indicated is likely to be a number of weeks. The Prime Minister and government officials stress there is no threat to northern residents and one is encouraged to continue visiting northern Israel and residents should continue their daily routines without concern.
First shooting incident in Operation Northern Shield:
In the meantime, IDF soldiers on Shabbos afternoon opened fire on three Hezbollah terrorists who approached an enclave north of the security fence on the Lebanese border and tried to approach the area where IDF soldiers are working to locate terrorist tunnels.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman, stated that “Israeli troops crossed the fence into Lebanon but did not exceed the U.N.-established demarcation line. He says Israeli forces also installed technological sensors to control a tunnel.”
According to Conricus, Hezbollah activists made use of bad weather in an attempt “to probably take the sensors” but fled after Israeli forces opened fire at them.
The IDF emphasized that: “The force fired at the suspects according to the Open-Fire Regulations. The three fled. The work continued as usual.”
The IDF estimates that the three managed to escape back to Lebanese territory without being hit by the shooting, which occurred in the area between Kiryat Shmona and Kibbutz Yiftach.
Regarding the political aspect of the operation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and updated him on the details of Operation Northern Shield and Israel’s continuing intention to foil the tunnels threat.
The two agreed that security delegations from the two countries will meet soon and that a meeting between the leaders would be coordinated.
Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s policy to prevent the establishment of an Iranian presence in Syria and to act against Iranian and Hezbollah aggression.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem/Photo Credit: IDF Spokesman Unit)