UNIFIL peacekeepers
UNIFIL peacekeepers Reuters

UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, confirmed on Thursday the presence of a tunnel in northern Israel near the Lebanese border.

The force "visited a location" near Metula in northern Israel, it said in a statement quoted by AFP, and "can confirm the existence of a tunnel at the location".

"UNIFIL is now engaged with the parties to pursue urgent follow-up action," it said.

"It is very important to determine the full picture of this serious occurrence."

The UNIFIL statement came hours after 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.

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.

During Thursday’s meeting, Strick demanded that UNIFIL "take action, investigate and make sure to neutralize the shaft of that attack tunnel".