The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting, during which the world body’s Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the member states that the subterranean-cross-border passage ways constitute a serious violation of Resolution 1701. Jean-Pierre Lacroix stated that “The tunnels are between 29 and 46 meters below ground, difficult to detect and in close proximity to areas sensitive to both parties. While the tunnels do not appear thus far to have exit points on the Israeli side, they are a serious violation of Resolution 1701.” / “Mr. President. This is a matter of serious concerns. The United Nations, including this headquarters, has requested the Lebanese authorities to ensure urgent follow up actions in accordance with the responsibilities of the government of Lebanon, pursuant to Resolution 1701.“ In response to the allegations voiced by the under-Secretary General, the Lebanese Ambassador to the United Nations Amal Mudallali stressed that Beirut has taken the issue of the tunnels very seriously and has said loud and clear that it is not interested in a new conflict and reiterated her country’s commitment to Resolution 1701. She said, “Today, we are witnessing another volatile situation, concerning the tunnels. Lebanon took the issue very seriously and has said loud and clear, and on the highest level, that it is not interested in a new conflict. Indeed, President Michel Aoun, immediately after the news came-out reaffirmed unequivocally Lebanon’s commitment to Resolution 1701 in letter and its entirety. This commitment is not rhetoric, and these are not mere words, because this commitment is in the interest of my country and my people.” Ambassador Mudallali refrained from condemning Hezbollah and Iran for their cynical use of Lebanese territory to construct offensive measures with the ultimate-goal of confronting the Jewish state. Instead, the Lebanese diplomat took the opportunity to condemn Israel for violating Lebanese airspace, as part of Jerusalem’s declared efforts to pre-empt Iranian attempts to arm its Lebanese proxy with sophisticated precision guided missiles, that would significantly challenge Israel’s regional qualitative-edge.
Prior to the U.N. emergency meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press briefing, during which he accused the Lebanese military of failing to take action to control their own territory. In his words, “This is not merely an act of aggression; it’s an act of war. And is part of a war plan I would say. Part of a war plan, it’s been confirmed by UNIFIL. UNIFIL has confirmed the existence of these tunnels and they have said that they represent a clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.”/ “The Lebanese army has been a total failure in this regard. They failed to take action to control their own territory, they failed to take action to prevent the use their territory against the territory of a neighboring state and they failed to dislodge the tyrannical Hezbollah. They haven’t even tried.”
Meanwhile on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, the IDF continues to make head-way in operations Northern Shield. According to Jonathan Conricus, the IDF Spokesperson, “The IDF launched operation Northern Shield on December 4. Since then we have found, exposed and are about to neutralize four cross border attack tunnels dug by the terrorist organization Hezbollah from within Lebanon into Israel. The aim of our operation is to expose each and every of those tunnels that cross into Israel and to make sure that Hezbollah will not have the ability to implement their offensive plan to attack Israel, a plan that they call “Conquering the Galilee”. Our operation will continue as long as needed until we find, discover and dismantle each and every one of those Hezbollah tunnels.”