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Amal Mudallali's letter to the United Nations Security Council came days after Israel launched Operation Northern Shield to dismantle cross-border attack tunnels it says were dug by the Hezbollah terror group.

But the Israeli operation has focused attention on a frontier across which Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

Netanyahu also said he hopes the global community imposes increased sanctions on Hezbollah in response to Israel's exposure of the tunnels.

The public identification of Iran isn't likely to surprise global observers, but signals aggressive moves by the Trump administration to tie Iran to the rise of terrorism not just in Israel, but across the Middle East, where Iranian-backed militants continue to strike USA interests and allies.

Netanyahu also urged Guterres to galvanize the worldwide community to demand that more sanctions be imposed on Hezbollah. The former Israeli defence minister admitted earlier that the country's officials had been hiding knowledge of the tunnels' existence for years to mislead "the other side".

"The Israelis did not present any information" at Wednesday's meeting with the Lebanese army and the UNIFIL peacekeeping force, a statement from Berri's office said.

UNIFIL said it is "engaged with the parties to pursue urgent follow-up action" and "will communicate its preliminary findings to the appropriate authorities in Lebanon".

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The Lebanese Army has described as "allegations" Israel's announcement that Hizbullah has dug "attack tunnels" on Lebanon's border.

An Israeli M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System is seen near the northern Israeli kibbutz of Yiftah near the border with Lebanon on December 5.

The few officers entrusted with planning the operation worked in conjunction with the Gaza Division to study the methods to locate the tunnels, but at a certain point it became clear that a different approach would have to be adopted in light of the different geological conditions in the north, that include rocky terrain as opposed to the sandy soil of Gaza. Hezbollah had no immediate comment on the claims or the Israeli activities across the border.

A senior Israeli official on Thursday said the tunnels discovered inside Israel were large enough to be used by "entire battalions" to enter Israeli territory in order to "carry out killing sprees and kidnappings and to capture Israeli towns and villages". "I'm confident in the army, in the guys who serve to protect us".

The Israeli army has released photographs, video footage and an illustrative map of what it says is the first of several tunnels snaking into Israeli territory that it soon plans to destroy.

"There were reports for years that people here heard digging and construction late at night". The Europeans have been told they must choose between business with the United States or Iran. "So why did it take so long?" he said.

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, a staunch opponent of Hezbollah and one of Saudi Arabia's main allies in the region, said his country did not want the operation on the border to "constitute a reason for any escalation" and that the military was responsible for ensuring safety of the border region.


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