Russia offers reserved support for Israel's anti-tunnel operation

The Russian embassy posted a tweet saying that there is “no doubt that Israel has the right to protect its national security.

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December 5, 2018 13:18
1 minute read.
An Israeli soldier guards near the border with Lebanon, the morning after the Israeli military said

An Israeli soldier guards near the border with Lebanon, the morning after the Israeli military said it had launched an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon, in Israel's northernmost town Metula December 5, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

 
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Moscow expressed reserved support on Wednesday for Israel's efforts to neutralize terror tunnels from Lebanon, but said it hoped these efforts will not conflict with UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

That resolution from 2006 put an end to the Second Lebanon War and called for the Blue Line, the border between Israel and Lebanon, to be respected.

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The Russian embassy posted a tweet saying that there is “no doubt that Israel has the right to protect its national security, including to prevent the illegal entry of anyone into the country.”

At the same time, the tweet continued, “we hope that the actions taken for this purpose will not conflict with  UNSC Resolution 1701.”

This tweet paraphrased and condensed comments Russian foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, made on Wednesday. Zakharova said that Russia hoped UNIFIL would fulfill its monitoring mission in southern Lebanon and “not allow any violations.”


She also said that Moscow called on all parties “to show the necessary responsibility and restraint, to avoid provocative steps and harsh statements that can further aggravate tense situation.”

While IDF and government spokespeople  said Tuesday that the operation was taking place on Israel's side of the border, there was no guarantee that at some point in time it might spill over to the Lebanese side of the fence.

Moscow's comments came a day after the US gave unreserved support for the operation. US National Security Adviser John Bolton issued a statement saying that the US “strongly supports Israel's efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on Hezbollah to stop its tunneling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence.”

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