The Israeli military on Thursday completed the destruction of Hezbollah flagship tunnel that was found during the IDF’s Operation Northern Shield.
According to a statement from the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit, the tunnel was destroyed in an operation led by the Northern Command and the Galilee Division using sealants after a months-long intelligence investigation was carried out along the route of the tunnel.
The tunnel, which was began in the southern Lebanese village of Ramiya and stretched one kilometer before it infiltrated several dozen meters into northern Israel, close to the communities of Zarit and Shetula.
The cross-border Hezbollah attack tunnel was exposed by the IDF last January.
“This tunnel is the flagship tunnel of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, in which Hezbollah has invested significant resources and efforts,” the statement said, adding that infrastructure had been installed, enabling the extended presence of terrorists inside it.
The Ramiyah tunnel, which Hezbollah had been in the process of completing, had been dug at a depth of 80 meters (262 feet) and had 20 stories of stairs. The tunnel, which took Hezbollah several years to dig, also contained railroads to transport equipment, garbage, and was equipped with lighting equipment, ventilation and ladders.
“In this operation, the IDF deprived Hezbollah of a key element in its surprise attack plan,” the statement continued, adding that the military had been tracking Hezbollah’s attempt to develop underground capabilities for years with various technological and intelligence means.
Israel launched Operation Northern Shield in early December to discover and destroy tunnels dug by the Lebanese Shiite terror group into northern Israel. The IDF declared the end of the operation in mid-January, saying that it had “deprived Hezbollah of the unique offensive abilities it had built for years as part of its planned attack on Israeli territory” and strengthened security along the northern border.
The military believes that the attack tunnels were built as a classified component in Hezbollah’s “Conquer the Galilee” plan that would have allowed the group’s elite Radwan fighters to infiltrate into Israel on land, fire short-range rocket and mortar fire and allow other Radwan fighters to infiltrate into communities via the tunnels, cut them off from main roads and to kill as many civilians and troops as possible.
Thousands of rockets were expected to be launched towards the Jewish State by the Iranian-backed Shiite army within the first couple of hours of the conflict.
During the operation the Northern Command had been in high readiness, reinforced by a variety of capabilities including twice the number of tanks and artillery batteries stationed in the area should Hezbollah attack troops during the operation.
While the military has destroyed all cross-border tunnels, some by explosions and others by flooding with liquid concrete, there are several others known to the IDF in Lebanese territory close to the border with Israel.
“The IDF continues its various activities to protect the northern border and residents' security and is in continuous contact with the residents of the north and the local authorities,” the military said on Tuesday.
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