IDF ends northern tunnel operation, strikes Gaza tunnels. Hizballah, Hamas threats remain

The IDF marked the end of Operation Northern Shield on Sunday, Jan. 13 by finding a sixth Hizballah cross-border tunnel, two days before Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot hands over the of Chief of Staff’s baton to his successor, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. It was the second “terror tunnel” found running from the Lebanese town of Ramaya. It was not in operational condition.
The timing was fitting, Gen. Eisenkot has hailed this operation as the crowning achievement of his four-year team as the head of Israel’s Defense Forces – a high evaluation not shared by most of the IDF high command. In fact, it was no more than a stop-go effort with few results. Above all, the operation which was meant to support a major Israeli diplomatic effort to disrupt the commanding influence Hizballah wields over the Lebanese government and army, failed to drive a wedge between them.
Nonetheless, in his parting interviews, Eisenkot claimed that Hizballah had dug those underground structures for its plan to smuggle 1,000-1,500 special operations troops into Israel, capture an Israeli village and retain it under cover of artillery fire. That scenario is hardly credible for four reasons:

  1. Hizballah devised this plan more than 10 years ago and has since moved on.
  2. Operation Northern Shield did not uncover a working tunnel network, or even a single passage large enough to carry a large force.
  3. No more than 6 tunnels, which the IDF had known about for years, were finally located, although the original military communiques spoke of sixteen.
  4. The operation focused on mostly defunct tunnels, whereas the main threat which is very much alive was unaddressed. A year ago, Hizballah threw up  mockup  models of Israeli villages on the Lebanese-Syrian border to train its special Redwan forces for operations to storm overland across the border and seize IDF bases and civilian villages in Upper and Western Galilee. The IDF is therefore racing against time to build a strong wall along the Lebanese border, but has run into topographic impediments for the barrier to extend its full length. Operation Northern Shield was therefore of no relevance to the contemporary Hizballah threat.

In one interview, Eisenkot was asked about the destruction of the chain of observation and surveillance positions which Hizballah has deployed in Syria opposite the Israel Golan. He replied: “That line is no longer there.”  The difficulty with this reply is that not only Hizballah, but also members of the five militias Iran is establishing in Syria have begun taking up position opposite the Golan. DEBKAfile was the first publication last year to uncover the ruse they employ of awarding these foreign pro-Iranian combatants Syrian army uniforms and IDs. They currently pose as members of the regular Syrian army stationed along the Israeli border. This subterfuge makes it almost impossible to differentiate between them.

In the Gaza Strip Saturday night, Israeli warplanes struck two Hamas “underground structures.” The IDF spokesman released this enigmatic statement without elaborating. Neither did he explain why, all of a sudden, after ten months in which Hamas had kept southern Israel under sporadic hails from Gaza of rockets, mortar shelling, incendiary balloons and ground assaults, the IDF command had decided to go for more telling targets than routine empty Hamas bases and lookout towers. This operation was accompanied by a caution to Hamas by an anonymous “senior official” that the monthly Qatari grant of $15m for January had not been cancelled, only frozen. In other words, the protection racket for buying Hamas’ non-escalation of violence against Israel goes on.

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8 thoughts on “IDF ends northern tunnel operation, strikes Gaza tunnels. Hizballah, Hamas threats remain

  • Jan 13, 2019 @ 14:55 at 14:55


  • Jan 13, 2019 @ 16:24 at 16:24

    Many tunnels were meant for drug traffic how else can people by drugs in sealed-off Israel?
    Arabs trade drugs in order to destroy Israel from inside.

  • Jan 13, 2019 @ 18:21 at 18:21

    Could those empty, unused tunnels by hizbollah actually be a Decoy for other deeper active tunnels?

    • Jan 14, 2019 @ 12:11 at 12:11

      “Could those empty, unused tunnels by hizbollah actually be a Decoy for other deeper active tunnels?”

      @Trojan horse,

      Not to worry…………………………the UN Observers on the Lebanese side of the border are right on this and will promptly mitigate any irregularities……………….of course!

      • Jan 14, 2019 @ 12:57 at 12:57

        UN Observers from TUNIFIL are there to facilitate the filling with tunnels operation of the whole border, provide cover and prevent inspections.

        Why do you think they have a macaroni general as boss, aren’t them macaroni sort of mini tunnels?

  • Jan 14, 2019 @ 10:39 at 10:39

    Look, a baby eating ninja mutant turtle, with a mask on. Surprise?

  • Jan 14, 2019 @ 12:00 at 12:00

    “The LOSERS fail, again, and call it a victory. “Yee haw. We found 6 ditches. Scared now, Nasrallah?””

    @ “Weaker than a Spider’s Web”,

    Are you referring to the (at least 6 found so far) tunnels extending from under civilian homes within Lebanon that went under the Israeli border in violation of a UN Resolution which prohibits Hezbollah military activity in Southern Lebanon? Could they have been reactivated at some point?……………and you refer to their exposure and destruction as a “failure”?

    “Oh well: at least they were able to bomb a garage in Damascus—————–”

    The “garage” you refer to just happened to contain advanced rockets and military upgrade hardware from Iran destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    ” And murder an unarmed woman (hooray!)—————”

    Israeli troops on their side of the Gaza border were defending themselves from fire bombs and projectiles being tossed at them and from rioters attempting to breach the border fence. If Hamas had any regard for the people under their regime’s control, there would not be even a single casualty on their side.

    When put into its proper perspective, a spider’s web serves the purpose for which it is intended, but a total lack of perspective is quite evident in your post……………….. and in your user name as well. But the very last few words in your post really say it all (from your perspective):

    “–no doubt the high point for the AshkenaziAntisemites’ weekend.”

    So now it’s clear where you’re coming from.

  • Jan 14, 2019 @ 13:35 at 13:35

    Hey, spider! You are definitely weaker every day.

    Warehouses with Iranian weapons all over Syria are known to represent a very high risk of explosion. These are more delicate than pottery, cracking very easily, one should be cautious when approaching such a awful place!

    But this problem is generated by themselves the Iranians, because they have the dangerous habit to build weapons warehouses on the exact GPS coordinates where there will be a blow up explosion. Not very lucky the Iranians, eh? Should them become more environmentally aware, and keep their weapons in Iran, you will see less of garage issues.

    About your weakness, what could I say other that stay away of people eating falafel and beans in general, flatulence might turn dangerous in your case. Turkish Fasolia (fasulye) soup or the Iranian Loobia Chiti made from pinto beans are the ones to really fear.

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