Hezbollah's tunnels an 'act of war,' says Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says tunnels dug by Hezbollah -- that start in Lebanon and run un...

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 4:08 PM

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says tunnels dug by Hezbollah -- that start in Lebanon and run under the border with Israel -- constitute an act of war.

Speaking in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Netanyahu said four tunnels have been uncovered so far, at least some of which have been inspected by UN monitors, who have confirmed the tunnels represent a violation of UN resolution 1701, which ended the last war between Israel and Lebanon in 2006.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Bridges and tunnels

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Government organizations - Intl

Hezbollah

Iran

Israel

Lebanon

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Military

Military weapons

Misc organizations

Political Figures - Intl

Transportation and warehousing

Transportation infrastructure

United Nations

Unrest, conflicts and war

Weapons and arms

Conflicts and wars

Lebanon conflicts

Israel says Hezbollah, the Iran-funded militant group and political party, has been digging the tunnels in order to mount raids on Israeli communities living nearby.

Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of committing a double war crime: targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Lebanese civilians.

He said that every third house in southern Lebanon was being used by Hezbollah for aggressive purposes.

The Israeli Premier also said Lebanon was accountable for the actions of Hezbollah and had harsh words for the Lebanese army.

"They have failed to take action to control their own territory," he said, adding, "they have not even tried."

CNN has reached out to the Lebanese government for a response to Netanyahu's remarks, and is waiting for a reply.

Hezbollah told CNN it had no comment to make.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier Wednesday in response to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)'s confirmation of violations of Resolution 1701 in which it said the Lebanese army had been instructed to "take all necessary procedures to properly implement [Resolution 1701] ... and ... prevent the situation from worsening especially in the light of the tension at the border in the past few days."

The Lebanese statement also drew attention to Israeli warplanes that have overflown Lebanese airspace to carry out Hezbollah airstrikes on targets in Syria, which UNIFIL says also constitute violations of Resolution 1701.

Israel rejects the comparison, calling its airstrikes an act of self-defense because Hezbollah says it wants to destroy Israel.

Iran was enabling Hezbollah to operate in this way, Netanyahu said, in part because of money it has received from the nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers in 2015.

Earlier in December, the Israeli army said it was launching an operation dubbed "Northern Shield" along the roughly 120-kilometer northern border with Lebanon to "expose and thwart cross border tunnels."

The Israeli military says "Northern Shield" is part of a bigger defense effort intended to secure Israel's border. In the past few years, Israel has built a defense wall along sensitive portions of the border, moved earth to create cliff faces, and cleared vegetation.

Ahead of a Wednesday UN Security Council meeting to discuss Hezbollah and the tunnels Netanyahu said the international community should condemn Hezbollah's "wanton acts of aggression" and designate the group in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

"Iran, Hezbollah and Lebanon should be held accountable by the international community," he said.

Netanyahu has often targeted Hezbollah in recent speeches, including at the United Nations General Assembly in September, when he accused Hezbollah of placing missile facilities near residential neighborhoods in the Lebanese capital Beirut, a charge Hezbollah and the Lebanese government denied.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil dismissed Netanyahu's accusations at the time and said Israel was trying to "justify another aggression" against Lebanon.

Earlier on Wednesday, at a conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu referenced those alleged missile facilities, when he claimed that Israel had succeeded in reducing Hezbollah's arsenal of precision-guided missiles.

Hezbollah was planning to have thousands of such missiles, Netanyahu asserted, but currently the number they possessed could be counted in the tens.

"Those sites near the airport in Beirut, the underground sites for precision conversion of missiles, which (Israeli) military intelligence gave me, to uncover, those sites were closed," Netanyahu said, adding, "They are trying to open new sites, but we are denying them precision-guided arms."

Lebanon's government has not yet responded to these claims.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 56°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 52°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 52°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 51°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 685321

Reported Deaths: 8391
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby761671128
Davidson70706661
Knox38646393
Hamilton34556326
Rutherford33114283
Unassigned22759126
Williamson21364138
Sumner18205230
Out of TN1612079
Wilson14405155
Montgomery14367149
Sullivan12577211
Washington11889191
Blount11887124
Maury10941123
Bradley1075190
Sevier10461108
Putnam9931136
Madison9099178
Robertson761885
Hamblen6954109
Anderson6759102
Greene6569108
Tipton619065
Gibson5630111
Coffee560681
Cumberland537872
Dickson534678
Bedford532086
Roane519179
Carter5091112
Lawrence507569
McMinn506673
Warren497553
Loudon493750
Jefferson474975
Dyer473682
Monroe455162
Hawkins444968
Franklin410758
Obion399478
Fayette396251
Rhea381556
Lincoln378344
Marshall343536
Cocke342856
Weakley339448
Cheatham335230
Henderson332056
Campbell323940
Giles321071
White310043
Hardeman308752
Carroll307859
Hardin297647
Lauderdale293131
Macon287350
Wayne260719
Henry260358
Overton252942
DeKalb241741
Haywood239745
McNairy238142
Smith230527
Trousdale228714
Marion227731
Scott225231
Hickman222734
Fentress212531
Claiborne210129
Grainger208135
Johnson201532
Morgan188614
Crockett180338
Bledsoe174110
Chester173237
Unicoi166843
Cannon157019
Lake155319
Decatur147226
Polk142817
Grundy139320
Union138721
Sequatchie136518
Humphreys132617
Benton131935
Lewis127220
Meigs114016
Stewart105220
Jackson103721
Perry94725
Houston93922
Clay93726
Moore7959
Pickett67619
Van Buren6587
Hancock4026

Community Events