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Netanyahu asks diplomats for curbs on Hizbollah
December 07, 2018
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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took Israel-based diplomats to the border with Lebanon on Thursday, showing them the site of a Hizbollah tunnel and calling for sanctions against the militant group.

“I told the ambassadors that they should condemn this aggression by Iran, Hizbollah and Hamas, unequivocally, and of course also to intensify the sanctions against these elements,” he said in a Hebrew-language statement.

Israel announced on Tuesday that it had discovered Hizbollah tunnels infiltrating its territory from Lebanon and launched an operation to destroy them.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that “he expects the UN to strongly condemn the violation of Israel’s sovereignty,” according to his office’s Twitter account.

Netanyahu said on Thursday that Hizbollah, like Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was acting on behalf of its patron Iran.

“Anyone who attacks us will have bloodshed on their own heads,” he said. “Hizbollah knows that and Hamas knows it too.”

The military said it had located one such tunnel dug from a home in the Kfar Kila area of south Lebanon that crossed into Israeli territory and was working to “neutralise” it.

Lebanon’s Parliament speaker said on Wednesday that Israel has presented no evidence to prove its claims that a network of attack tunnels has been built by Hizbollah across the countries’ shared borders.

, Nabih Berri, Lebanon’s parliament speaker and ally of Hizbollah, said Israel offered no “co-ordinates or information” about the tunnels during the regular weekly meeting held at the UN position in southern Lebanon.

His comments were carried by the National News Agency. In a statement, the Lebanese army called Israeli reports of tunnels across the border “allegations.”

It called on Israel to present specific co-ordinates and information about the location of such tunnels. The army urged Israel not to carry out any work inside Lebanese territory.

The Israeli army released photographs, video footage and an illustrative map of what it says is the first of several tunnels snaking into Israeli territory that it soon plans to destroy.

The UN mission, known as UNIFIL, said its regular weekly meeting with the Lebanese and Israeli armies discussed Israel’s “activities” searching for suspected tunnels.

Agence France-Presse/Associated Press

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