Netanyahu: Hezbollah’s goal is to conquer Galilee – Op won’t stop until all objectives reached
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening that IDF Operation Northern Shield to destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels will continue until all its objectives are reached.
“This is not a limited operation, it is a broad and ongoing operation,” Netanyahu said, speaking alongside IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot at the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu said Hezbollah’s intention was to conquer parts of the Galilee, an effort which the PM said is part of a broader regional operation led by Iran.
“This tunnel will not achieve its goal, and the same goes for the rest of the terror tunnels,” Netanyahu declared. “We neutralized numerous terror tunnels from Gaza and we will complete the work there too. For years, Hezbollah and Hamas spent enormous sums in building the tunnels. We are dismantling this weapon.”
Eisenkot estimated the operation would last several weeks, saying it initiated “before the tunnel threat became direct and immediate for residents of the north and Israeli army bases.”
The IDF has released footage from a hidden camera inside a Hezbollah terror tunnel that was dug by Muslim terrorists in order to murder Israeli civilians.
A small explosive was triggered as the terrorists approach the camera.
The terror tunnel was later neutralized.
The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield” to expose and neutralize cross-border terror tunnels dug by Lebanon’s Hezbollah into northern Israel, the IDF cleared for publication on Tuesday.
The IDF has been aware since 2006 that Hezbollah was seeking to build terror tunnels stretching into Israel at several points along the border. Since then, Hezbollah terror group chief Hassan Nasrallah has spoken of a plan to conquer the Galilee.
In 2013, the IDF discovered that Hezbollah was attempting to begin construction of the tunnels but could not locate any.
In 2014, the IDF decided to form a special team to locate these tunnels, and in 2015 began a project to build a barrier along the Lebanese border, creating a technological infrastructure that is the basis of Operation Northern Shield, and destroy the tunnels.
The IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said, “the fact that Hezbollah has tunnels crossing the border into Israeli territory is proof of a flagrant violation of Israeli sovereignty. We see this as a very serious situation that hurts Lebanon and the citizens of Lebanon, and we hold the Lebanese government accountable. We have indisputable proof that the Lebanese government is not in control of their border. Iranian money is behind these tunnels.”
According to Manelis, the IDF troops along the border have been reinforced, “We are in full control of the situation and are determined to remove the underground Hezbollah threat from the northern border. The tunnels do cross into Israeli territory, but the work on them was not complete.”