Israel struck Iranian facility in Syria, PM Netanyahu says

A supporter of Lebanon's Hezbollah gestures as he holds a Hezbollah flag in Marjayoun Leban

The Israeli military said a sixth tunnel was found on Saturday, 55 meters (yards) deep and reaching "a few tens of meters" into Israeli territory from 800 meters within Lebanon.

"According to our intelligence and our assessment of the situation there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel".

Israel's acknowledgement of a recent Israeli attack on Syria is rare.

The Army reiterated that it held Lebanon responsible for all activities that took place in its territory and thanked the residents of Israel's north for helping it achieve the operation's goals.

He also reiterated that Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable "for any act of violence or violation of 1701", the United Nations resolution that ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The Army said, "In the coming days we'll investigate the new tunnel and carry out actions to neutralize it".

"All of the tunnels have been exposed and have either already been destroyed or are going to be destroyed", military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

On Christmas Day the Israeli jets used two civilian aircraft in flight as cover to engage targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, noting that the IDF's F-16s flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airports.


Although there are more tunnels on the Lebanese side of the border, the military says this effectively marks the end of the operation.

"A very serious threat was averted here", said Netanyahu.

Israel alleges Hezbollah had planned to use the tunnels to kidnap or kill its civilians or soldiers, and to seize a slice of Israeli territory in the event of any hostilities.

A far more visible part of his legacy has been the recent Lebanese border operation, which the military said thwarted Hezbollah's prime strategic investment for its next potential war.

It has said, however, that they were not yet operational. But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

Netanyahu also cited the Israeli military's assessment that it has completed its search-and-destroy mission against Hezbollah attack tunnels.

The powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the tunnels.

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