The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have revealed the ‘longest and most significant’ cross-border tunnel, saying it was equipped with electricity, ventilation and communications systems.
The tunnel, one of six discovered earlier this year, has been under constant surveillance and was booby-trapped. According to the IDF, the tunnel would have taken years to complete. It was dug to a depth of 80 meters, was one km long and stretched 77 meters into Israeli territory. It began close to the Lebanese village of Ramiya, with an exit near to the Israeli villages of Shtula and Zar’it.
The Israeli army believes the tunnel was built for Hezbollah to infiltrate Israeli territory and attack military and civilian targets in northern Israel. The Commander of Israel’s Baram Regional Brigade Col. Roi Levi, said: “We are neutralising the flagship tunnel of the Hezbollah terrorist group. This is an attack tunnel.”
Hezbollah is facing an economic crisis, according to US State Department Spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus. Ortagus said yesterday that that due to the US’s “maximum pressure campaign on Iran… For the first time ever, Hezbollah, Iran’s top beneficiary, has been forced to publicly appeal for financial support.” Ortagus added: “The campaign is starving Iran’s proxies of the funds they rely on to operate on behalf of the regime.” She displayed images that: “Depict Hezbollah’s desperate plea for public donations via billboards, posters, and collection cans.”
In the briefing, Ortagus elaborated on Hezbollah’s economic situation saying: “Hezbollah’s desperation is evident not only on the streets and in grocery stores, but also on the battlefield. Iran is withdrawing Hezbollah fighters from Syria and cutting or cancelling their salaries. A fighter with the Iranian-backed militia in Syria told the New York Times in March the golden days are gone and will never return.”