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Is the Israeli military operation along the border with Lebanon for real?

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The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) announced suddenly on Tuesday morning the start of a massive military operation along the border with Lebanon. The reason, said the IDF, is to search for “offensive” tunnels dug by Hezbollah which, according to a report on Israeli Army Radio, are “penetrating Israeli soil and have been prepared for carrying out terror attacks on Israel.” The report added that the occupation army had declared the border area to be a closed military zone. Yedioth Ahronoth pointed out that Israeli ministers were told not to speak to the media about the campaign dubbed “Operation Northern Shield”.

“The Israeli army has launched Operation Northern Shield in order to neutralise terrorist tunnels from Lebanon,” explained Prime, Foreign and now Defence Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We are proud of the commanders and soldiers of our army who are carrying out complex operations and achieve practical successes… Anyone who attempts to harm Israel will pay a high price. We must act strictly and responsibly at the same time and on all fronts. We will continue with more overt and covert procedures that guarantee Israel’s security.”

However, analysts have already cast doubt on the aims of the operation announced by Netanyahu, who has been Minister of Defence since the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman in the wake of the failure of a covert operation in the Gaza Strip last month. He is said to be covering that failure, which could have led to an early General Election,........

© Middle East Monitor