IDF Drilling on Lebanon Border in Search for Possible Hezbollah Tunnels

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Israeli soldiers on the Lebanon border. January 27, 2014.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

Israel Defense Forces troops began drilling early Wednesday along the Lebanon border to search for suspected tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israeli territory.

Residents in Moshav Zarit, where the troops were drilling, said that in the years since the 2006 Second Lebanon War "strange looking" buildings began appearing across the security fence some 450 meters away. More than 10 residents living on one street in the moshav have complained over the last few months about hearing noises at night.

Moshav secretary Ofer Shamir said that two civilian authorities had been brought to the community in the past two investigate the residents' complaints. The investigations revealed what appeared to be a possible tunnel route dug from Lebanon into Israel.

Last autumn, GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan said that the Israel Defense Forces was not aware of any tunnels under the northern border, after the community heads urged Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to take the threat seriously and not cut security budgets for the region.

Golan said that rockets remain the main threat in the area, but that the IDF is also prepared to deal with any potential tunnel threat.