The Israeli military launched an operation on Tuesday to "expose and thwart" tunnels it says were built by the Hezbollah militant group that stretch from Lebanon into northern Israel.
The military said the tunnels were not currently being used by militants and that its work to find and neutralize them was taking place inside Israeli territory. However, the Israeli operation could send tensions soaring between Israel and its Iranian-backed foe, which have both been preoccupied with other conflicts since their last conflagration more than a decade ago.
"We see Hezbollah's activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty" and of U.N. resolutions, said Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman. "This activity is another example of the negative effects of Iranian entrenchment in the region."
The military did not disclose how many tunnels snake into Israeli territory from Lebanon nor what tools it was using to deal with the threat, although it said the operation could last for weeks. Israel has spent years attempting to tackle a network of tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israel and has used a variety of methods to destroy tunnels and prevent them from being rebuilt.