The United Nations Security Council will in the near future convene to debate Operation Northern Shield, launched this week by the Israeli military to uncover and destroy cross-border attack tunnels built by Lebanon-based Hizbullah. During the meeting, Israel’s representative will contend that the Iranian proxy’s infringement of Israeli sovereignty constitutes a violation of UNSC resolution 1701, which set the terms for ending the 2006 war between the Jewish state and Hizbullah. The text called for the total disarmament of the Shiite terror group and the creation of a UN-patrolled buffer zone along the shared border in which Hizbullah would be barred from operating. To this end, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a phone call Wednesday with UN chief Antonio Guterres described Hizbullah’s activities as “another part of Iran’s aggression in the region,” and called on the international diplomat to strongly condemn the existence of the tunnel system. Concurrently, the Israel Defense Forces revealed that the subterranean structure identified on Tuesday near Metulla was meant to be used in a future war by members of Hizbullah’s elite Radwan unit to cut the community off from a major highway with a view to occupying the town. A spokesperson for UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force tasked with monitoring the frontier region, expressed “surprise” about the discovery and noted that members of his organization discussed the matter with officials from both the Israeli and Lebanese armies. Operation Northern Shield is expected to take weeks to complete, with local media reporting that Hizbullah has constructed at least 10 similar underground passageways.
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