For the first time: IDF blows up terrorist tunnel in the north

The stage of neutralizing the tunnels in Operation Northern Shield begins with explosion of the first tunnel.

Elad Benari ,

Terrorist tunnels in north neutralized and destroyed
Terrorist tunnels in north neutralized and destroyed
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The IDF on Thursday evening blew up for the first time one of the terror tunnels in northern Israel which were identified as part of Operation Northern Shield.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit issued a statement saying that "the explosions that were heard a short time ago in the western sector on the Lebanese border are the result of IDF operational activity aimed at neutralizing and destroying terrorist tunnels."

IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said on Thursday evening that "the activity will make it impossible to use the tunnels again, it will take more time."

He added that two simultaneous efforts are currently under way: The first is the continued exposure of the tunnels, of which four have been exposed until now as was the shaft of a fifth tunnel; And the second – taking them out of use. The shaft that was discovered belongs to a fifth tunnel that runs from the Lebanese village of Ramiya towards the Birnit camp near the border.

"This is done in a number of different ways. Each tunnel has its own characteristics and this is a process that will take time. The goal is that Hezbollah will not be able to use a tunnel from Lebanon to our territory," Manelis said.

The IDF confirmed earlier on Thursday that Israeli security forces operating along the border with Lebanon began demolishing the four cross-border terror tunnels located this month.

As part of Operation Northern Shield, Israeli forces are deployed along the northern border to neutralize the terror tunnels found in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) confirmed that the tunnels violated the United Nation Security Council Resolution 1701, passed at the end of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.

"After further technical investigations conducted independently in accordance with its mandate, UNIFIL can at this stage confirm that two tunnels cross the Blue Line, a blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolution 1701 ".