The IDF on Sunday began the process of installing infrastructure that would counter the threat Israel faces from Hezbollah’s tunneling operations near the Israel-Lebanon border. The IDF’s activities took place near the town of Misgav Am.
IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman said the action is not due to intelligence information regarding any new tunnels. “There is not new information about Hezbollah’s tunnels and there is no information about Hezbollah tunnels that cross over into Israel. This is an insurance policy that is not due to new information about Hezbollah tunnels,” Zilberman said. During Operation Northern Shield, which took place between December 4, 2018 and January 13, 2019, the IDF uncovered six Hezbollah tunnels that crossed over into Israeli territory.
Zilberman continued, saying: “We want to avoid a miscalculation. We have no new information regarding tunnels. We continue to do intelligence, engineering and technology work. The infrastructure is meant to uncover seismic and acoustic noises. It is ready to be installed in the Misgav Am area, near the town. We will expand it to nearby towns in the coming years, in accordance with threat assessments and budgetary concerns. This will include drilling, digging and installing the infrastructure, while cooperating with municipality leaders.”
The infrastructure is based on technology that has been tailored for the specific attributes of the northern border area, and will be used to monitor the area as a preventative strategy. “There has been, and will be more underground activity; it will be foiled, as has happened up to now,” the IDF said.
Brig.-Gen. Zilberman added that “work on the blockade that is part of the Paving Stone project is ongoing. The idea is that if Hezbollah digs again, these systems will detect it.” He emphasized, “We have not identified attempts by Hezbollah to re-dig. Reinforcements are not being sent to the north. Engineering troops will install the infrastructure.”
The IDF mentioned that the infrastructure “is another component of the wide-ranging defensive effort that is conducted as part of routine activity in the Galilee Division,” and said, “IDF forces will continue to fulfill their defensive mission, working around the clock to preserve Israel’s sovereignty and protect its residents.”