Netanyahu Warns Hezbollah of 'Lethal Force' Following Nasrallah Comments on Attack Tunnels

PM refutes the group's leader recent comments on attack tunnels entering from Lebanon being obsolete, says the organization is 'embarrassed'

File photo: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at prime minister's office in Jerusalem, January 27, 2019.
Abir Sultan/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rebuked on Sunday Nasrallah's comments on the military operations to destroy the attack tunnels entering Israel from Lebanon, warning that Hezbollah faces "the lethal force of the Israel Defense Forces."

On Saturday Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah made his first public comments since Israel announced the discovery of the tunnels in November.

Nasrallah told Lebanon's Al Mayadeen TV station that one of the tunnels discovered by Israel is more than 13 years old, predating UN Security Council Resolution 1701, passed after the Second Lebanon War.

>>Read more: Attack tunnels on the Israel-Lebanon border are only a prelude to the real Hezbollah threat | Analysis ■ How Hezbollah will use foreign fighters to conquer Lebanon | Opinion 

Netanyahu responded to Nasrallah, saying the leader is greatly embarassed by the "tremendous effort he and his men invested in the surprise weapon of the tunnels, which included digging them - contrary to what he claims - over the last months and years."

Speaking a the start of a weekly cabinet meeting Netanyahu said "He [Nasrallah] is in great confusion," pointing to "the tremendous success" of Operation Northern Shield and the financial distress of the group amid U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The Hezbollah chief denied that he's been silent since the tunnels' discovery because of health problems, saying that Israel spread rumors to provoke him into speaking. "Our silenced had contributed to the calm" in southern Lebanon, he said.

Nasrallah further declined to comment whether he knows of more tunnels or not, adding that Israel lied when announcing the conclusion of Operation Defensive Shield, aimed at destroying tunnels traversing the Israel-Lebanon border.