JERUSALEM: UN peacekeepers in Lebanon have confirmed the existence of a tunnel discovered by the Israeli military close to the blue line separating the two countries, it said in a statement on Thursday.
The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is “engaged with the parties to pursue urgent follow-up action” and “will communicate its preliminary findings to the appropriate authorities in Lebanon”, it added.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took Israel-based diplomats to the border with Lebanon, showing them the site of a Hezbollah tunnel and calling for sanctions against the Shiite militant group.
“I told the ambassadors that they should condemn this aggression by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, unequivocally, and of course also to intensify the sanctions against these elements,” he said in a Hebrew-language statement.
Israel announced on Tuesday that it had discovered Hezbollah tunnels infiltrating its territory from Lebanon and launched an operation to destroy them.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that he “expects the UN to strongly condemn the violation of Israel’s sovereignty,” according to his office’s Twitter account.
Netanyahu said Thursday that Hezbollah, like Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was acting on behalf of its patron Iran.
“Anyone who attacks us will have bloodshed on their own heads,” he said. “Hezbollah knows that and Hamas knows it too.”
The military said it had located one such tunnel dug from a home in the Kfar Kila area of south Lebanon that crossed into Israeli territory and was working to “neutralize” it.