Israel says all Hezbollah cross-border tunnels found

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott speaks at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott speaks at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya

The attacks against Iranian targets and not only on Hezbollah arms convoys, were authorised by cabinet in 2017, he explained in his interview to the U.S. newspaper.

But recently Israel has spoken publicly about thwarting the weapons smuggling into Lebanon and Mr Netanyahu had said "we are committed more than ever to act against Iran in Syria".

It reached a few dozen metres into Israel, and at 55 metres under the ground was the deepest as well as "the longest and most detailed" of all the tunnels the army exposed, Conricus said. While they have at times traded blows within Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Israel-Lebanon border has mostly been quiet.

"We have achieved the goal (to expose and destroy the tunnels from Lebanon) which we set out to achieve at the beginning", Conricus said.

Hezbollah and Israel last fought a war in 2006.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday confirmed that Israel has struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria, including a weapons facility in a weekend airstrike, as the military announced the discovery of a sixth and final tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group for cross-border attacks.

UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, was informed of the latest tunnel, Conricus said.

The military said its forces would stay deployed along the border area to monitor for any other possible underground activity, and said it holds the Lebanese government responsible for everything happening in its territory.

"A very serious threat was averted here", said Netanyahu.

He said this was part of a Hezbollah plan to send as many as 1,500 fighters to infiltrate Israeli border communities during any future war.

It has said, however, that they were not yet operational.

But with that civil war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

Netanyahu also cited "the successful completion" of an Israeli search-and-dismantle mission against suspected Hezbollah attack tunnels from Lebanon that was launched in December.

During his remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu also thanked outgoing IDF chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot for his service to the country.

The powerful Shiite militant Hezbollah, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the Israeli discoveries.