IDF Operation Located Terror Tunnel Outside Metula

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The army went on to say that "In October 2014, a special operational engineering team was established in the Northern Command to expose and identify Hezbollah's offensive tunnels, while at the same time a project began to fortify the border, which included drilling into the ground".

The tunnel was discovered as part of the IDF Northern Shield operation launched Monday morning to expose and neutralize terrorist tunnels dug by the Hezbollah terror organization into Israeli territory.

All operations would take place within Israeli territory, Conricus said, though they were likely to boost tensions with Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group with which Israel fought a devastating war in 2006.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pictured in front of a menorah on the second night of the Hanukkah festival, during their meeting on the sidelines of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conference in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3, 2018.

In 2012, Israel became aware of Hezbollah's "plan to conquer the Galilee", as it was termed by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The military has used various means to collapse or fill in tunnels from the Gaza Strip.

The tunnels also seem to be what Netanyahu was referring to when he announced two-and-a-half weeks ago that he was holding onto the defense portfolio in wake of the resignation of defense minister Avigdor Liberman.

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"We see Hezbollah's activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty" and of United Nations resolutions, said Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman.

The military is prepared for any escalation with Hezbollah that could stem from this operation.

Hezbollah, which possesses one of the most powerful militias in the region, has threatened to attack Israel with its vast rocket arsenal if war breaks out.

Netanyahu further told Pompeo that Tehran's aggression also needed to be confronted in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

There have been outbreaks of violence between Israel and Hezbollah across the Israel-Lebanon border, which is heavily fortified.

Israel has long voiced concern about Iran's growing military presence along its northern border, warning of an Iranian corridor that could assist in the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah emerged with the help of Iran during Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon in the early 1980s. The Iran-backed Shia group has not yet commented on Israel's actions.

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