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Danger lurks beneath the Apple orchard

the noise of The construction machinery will temporarily be drowned out by the Call of the muezzin, which you can also hear on this side of the three-Meter-high wall between Israel and Lebanon. Just a few steps from the concrete wall to bend on the Israeli side, camera people and photographers with a lid secured hole in the muddy earth, which leads to the depth of 18 meters. It is just big enough that a person can squeeze in. Here, on the outskirts of the village of Metula, in an Apple orchard, the entrance to a Tunnel that the Israeli army three weeks ago, has been discovered. He gives according to the military 36 meters into Israeli territory. So far, the Israeli army has discovered multiple cross-border Connections.

For the first Time journalists have access to this place. An armored Bus with opaque milk-glass panes, in the normally, soldiers have to be transported on the vehicle for the last stretch to the border. The soldiers, who perform together with the engineers and construction workers for their use, are masked, and secure the place. Cameras are allowed, but Smartphones are not. Why, is not explained: for security reasons, it is called.

134 kilometers long border

Above the entrance a huge white is to set up a tent to shield. Because the houses on the Lebanese side are only a few metres and pull up a hill. From this elevated Position, the Events of the underlying Israeli side of the overlook.

from one Of these houses in the village of Kafr Kila from the Tunnel had been dug, says a high-ranking military representatives. It is supposed to be a factory in the immediate vicinity of the border. Further excavations are expected. Like many, he does not say how long the Operation "Northern shield" is going to take.

With dozens of construction equipment, which generate considerable noise, pierces the earth, you are ramming metal rods into the ground. Whether or not you are not equipped with Sensors, does not want to tell the army. Also in the night hours, as the Calls of the muezzin are faded away on the Lebanon, work – in flood light. From the pouring rain you can't stop. The whole area is not perforated like a Swiss cheese, but a single muddy field. Debris and rubble to be transported in huge quantities.

If necessary, will do this along the entire border, a military representative. 134 kilometers of the common border between Lebanon and Syria is a long one. Whether the work of Meter will be carried out for meters in a wide stripe? "If necessary, Yes," is the answer. Another soldier says that could take months. An army spokesman added that the Israeli forces, worked in several Places.

None of the Tunnel was used, according to the Israeli experts, already for operations. The Plan of the Shiite Hizbullah militia was, according to the Israeli army, "conquering the Galilee", on Israeli territory, to bring weapons to the neighboring country and kidnap Israelis in the border area. Therefore, it is used by representatives of the Military and Israeli politicians, the term "attack tunnel".

escalation prevented

That at least two of the Tunnel across the border and a violation of UN resolutions represent, admitted to the observer mission Unifil. 10'500 soldiers to prevent confrontations. The last war, in which 1200 people died, there was in 2006, officially, Israel and Lebanon have concluded only a truce. How quickly the Situation can be dangerous was demonstrated recently in a different place on the border. In the vicinity of the town of Meiss al-Jabal, it came to clashes between Lebanese and Israeli soldiers, as this sting began to lay the wire on the border. Blue helmets went in between and prevented an escalation.

The military officials stress that they are only on the Israeli side, active and not violate the border. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, acting for and, more recently, as defense Minister, said last week that it was in the tunnels, "an act of war". However, it has even known according to Netanyahu's assessment, the Lebanese army is nothing of the activities of the Shiite militia Hizbullah, the population in the border area, however, very well. "Every third house in the South of Lebanon is used in one way or another by Hezbollah," Netanyahu said.

Shortly after the visit, the Israeli army began to destroy the Tunnel. She had already started before that, in order to place explosives in the ground. To build the Tunnel in this stony ground, is certainly more difficult than in the desert region around the Gaza strip.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 23.12.2018, 21:14 Uhr

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