Hezbollah’s attack tunnels are just part of Israel’s concerns in North

Israel launches military operation against 'Hezbollah tunnels'

Israel launches operation to thwart Hizbollah tunnels from Lebanon

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) refused to say how many tunnels it had detected but said that several had already crossed beneath the ground from Lebanon into Israel.

The Israeli military has launched an operation along Lebanon's border under the pretext of "cutting off" what it claims are tunnels dug by the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement near the occupied territories.

All operations would take place within Israeli territory, Conricus said, though it still raised the risk of a response from Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group with which Israel fought a devastating war in 2006.

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The latest operation comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels, where he was reported to have been updated on the anti-tunnel action.

Lt. Conricus said Hezbollah, aided by Iran, has been developing a plan against Israel that would "shift the battleground into Israel".

It announced the operation on Twitter on Tuesday, saying that a number of areas close to Lebanon's border, including Metula, had been declared a closed military zone. It was, and that briefing included talk about the tunnels and the threat they pose to Israeli civilians.

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The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Tuesday that Israel was not seeking war, and blamed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for providing the Islamic Republic with cash that was used to help Hezbollah built its terror tunnels.

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

The statement did not mention UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force also charged with keeping Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon.

The statement accused Hezbollah of committing "a double war crime" as it operates from "within Lebanon's civilian population, in order to harm Israel's civilian population".

Israel and Lebanon have been involved in a series of conflicts over the years and the two remain technically at war.

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.

Israeli officials have long warned the threat posed by Gaza's Hamas rulers pales in comparison to that of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah - a heavily-armed mini-army with valuable combat experience and an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach almost every part of Israel. Israel has also reportedly carried out killings against Hezbollah figures.

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