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December 4, 2018 3:39 pm

Ex-IDF Intel Chief: Destruction of Hezbollah Tunnels Under Lebanon Border ‘Great Achievement’ for Israel

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The Israel-Lebanon border, Dec. 4, 2018. Photos: Reuters / Aziz Taher.

The discovery and destruction of tunnels dug by Hezbollah under the Israel-Lebanon border marked a “great achievement” for the Jewish state, a former IDF Military Intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

Referring to “Operation Northern Shield,” which was launched by the IDF on Tuesday, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin — now the director of the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) — tweeted, “Discovering tunnels is a vast challenge, and the time for National Security Awards and decorations will come, social-media cynicism aside.”

“The tunnels are one component of a comprehensive Hizbullah offensive design, seeking a surprise ground operation in Israel in the next war or for separate terror attacks,” Yadlin continued. “Nasrallah is talking about it since 2011.”

“IDF is long aware of the option and since 2014 devoted many intelligence and engineering efforts to expose it,” he added. “If someone was caught by surprise, it is Hizbullah.”

“The tunnels’ exposure carries a message to Hizbullah, who based its operations on secrecy, covert action and surprise,” Yadlin noted. “It needs to consider that it is in fact, exposed and vulnerable to Israel’s Intel. Its safe and secret posts may prove as death traps to his terrorists.”

“A second strategic message is to the UN and the P5 : the tunnel network was dug under UNIFIL’s feet and under UNSCR 1701 supervision  regime,” he said. “he routine UN reporting of ‘no evidence’ verifying Israel’s ‘allegations’ has again crashed on the (under-)ground of reality. “

“The Lebanese Government: it is a reminder that Hizbullah conducts its own foreign and security policy, guided by Iran,” Yadlin pointed out. “GoL’s ongoing acquiescence and cover to Hizbullah’s operations only stress its responsibility to the events and their ramifications in a future conflict.”

Yadlin went on to say:

“The main question now: is ESCALATION expected? Hizbullah has no interest in a conflict and no legitimacy, after it was caught red handed in a blunt and continuous violation of 1701 and Israel’s sovereignty.”

“Yet, history, including Nasrallah’s, is fraught with miscalculations and mistakes. This is why the IDF also need to be ready to possible escalation.”

“Israel should expose international states persons, diplomats, military leaders and media to the tunneling threat, to challenge UNIFIL with the now rock-piercing evidence, and push it to expose the illicit infrastructure north of the Blue Line and to destroy them.”

“Last word: the MORE CRITICAL CHALLENGE, stopping the ‘Precision Project’ is still ahead, with legitimacy issues and escalation risks at a totally different level.”

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