PM Netanyahu at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO) (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
PM Netanyahu at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv

“I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger. They are sacrificing your wellbeing to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran,” Netanyahu warned. 

By: United with Israel Staff

The IDF on Tuesday morning launched a campaign to expose and neutralize a network of terror tunnels on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned threatens the lives of Israeli citizens and Lebanese alike.

Speaking about Operation Northern Shield at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu, who also serves as defense minister, stated that the cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah “with direct support and funding from Iran.”

“They were built with one purpose in mind – to attack and murder innocent Israeli men, women and children. This is a grave violation of Israel’s sovereignty, and a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701. It is an unacceptable act of wanton aggression,” he charged.

Noting that the first terror tunnel exposed by the IDF was built under a home in a civilian neighborhood, Netanyahu said that “this is just one more example of how Hezbollah is committing a double war crime. They target civilians while hiding behind civilians. And this must be condemned loudly and clearly by all nations that care about peace, freedom and human dignity.”

He then addressed the citizens of Lebanon directly: “I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger. They are sacrificing your wellbeing to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran.”

“Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for all terror activity emanating from Lebanon against Israel,” he stated. Earlier in the day he warned that anyone who attacks Israel “would pay a heavy price.”

Vanquishing Hezbollah, Just Like Hamas

“Like any other nation, Israel maintains the right to defend itself. We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran’s efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel,” he vowed.

Iran has been opearting extensively to broaden its influence on Gaza’s terror groups while establishing itself militarily in Syria in an effort to open further fronts from which to attack Israel.

While Hezbollah emulates the Hamas terror organization in Gaza, digging tunnels into Israel designed to deploy large groups of terrorists, Netanyahu warned, “Just as we have exposed and dismantled the terror tunnels of Hamas alongside our border with Gaza, we will expose and dismantle the terror tunnels of Hezbollah alongside our border with Lebanon.”

“Israel will continue to do all that is necessary to protect our people and defend our borders,” he concluded.

The IDF is operating at several points inside Israeli territory along its northern border with Lebanon, with several areas declared a closed military zone.

Hezbollah has so far remained silent and has not reacted to the IDF’s operation.

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