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
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Florence
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 92°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 89°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Scottsboro
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 114098

Reported Deaths: 1144
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21924298
Davidson19812208
Rutherford625453
Hamilton580347
Knox418638
Williamson336322
Sumner326471
Unassigned29285
Out of TN279314
Wilson215223
Montgomery178113
Bradley177112
Sevier17636
Putnam164613
Trousdale15766
Robertson147519
Hamblen131113
Blount11868
Tipton11379
Washington11142
Maury11077
Madison95714
Bedford89011
Sullivan85911
Macon84713
Hardeman84312
Lake7580
Loudon6863
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6468
Anderson6376
Dickson6301
Gibson6152
Dyer5797
Cheatham5546
Rhea5141
Jefferson5133
McMinn49820
Lawrence4976
Henderson4830
Obion4644
Warren4544
Carter4525
Coffee4482
Lauderdale4457
Hardin4267
Cocke4212
Haywood4145
Greene3986
Roane3982
Cumberland3976
Smith3933
Hawkins3915
Monroe3809
Giles36012
McNairy3355
Weakley3293
DeKalb3261
Franklin2964
Marshall2713
Lincoln2591
Carroll2513
Crockett2464
Hickman2400
Claiborne2350
White2323
Henry2310
Campbell2241
Wayne2222
Johnson2140
Marion2104
Chester2012
Grainger1810
Polk1813
Decatur1742
Overton1411
Unicoi1410
Union1330
Cannon1310
Humphreys1133
Benton1111
Jackson1091
Scott1050
Grundy1042
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan941
Perry770
Fentress760
Hancock761
Stewart720
Clay660
Lewis621
Houston540
Moore530
Van Buren330
Pickett271

Community Events