Lebanese FM: Israel preparing for military assault

Lebanon's Foreign Minister instructs UN envoy to complain against Israel's operation against Hezbollah's tunnels.

Elad Benari,

Gebran Bassil
Gebran Bassil
Reuters

Lebanon's Foreign Minister, Gebran Bassil, claimed on Thursday that Israel’s actions near the border with his country is in preparation for a military assault on Lebanon.

According to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Bassil instructed Lebanon’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Amal Mudallali, to submit a complaint against Israel in this matter.

The IDF launched Operation Northern Shield overnight Monday in order to dismantle terrorist tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israeli territory.

Within hours of the initial announcement, the IDF reported that it had uncovered a terror tunnel originating in the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kela, and leading into Israeli territory. The tunnel was dug from a cement factory in the southern Kafr Kela area and which had been converted to a military site by Hezbollah terrorists.

Earlier on Thursday, the head of the IDF Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, held a meeting with UNIFIL commander General Stefano del Col.

During the meeting, Gen. Col took a tour of the terror tunnel dug by the Hezbollah terrorist organization from the Lebanese village of Kafr Kela into Israeli territory.

UNIFIL later acknowledged the presence of a tunnel in northern Israel near the Lebanese border.

Bassil’s comments come a day after Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said that Israel’s operation to destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels should not lead to “any escalation”.

Hariri has been tasked with forming the next coalition in Lebanon, though his party suffered significant losses in the last election, while Hezbollah and its allies gained more than half the seats of the 128-member Lebanese parliament.


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