As the IDF undertakes its latest campaign on Israel's northern border with Lebanon, PM Netanyahu made the above statement regarding Operation Northern Shield — not only as a message to the people of Lebanon among whom Hezbollah hides itself, but to the rest of the world, as well, assuring all that Israel will "do all that is necessary to protect our people and defend our borders":
Good evening. This morning, the Israel Defense Forces launched a campaign to expose and neutralize a network of terror tunnels on our northern border with Lebanon (click here and here). These cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. They were built with one purpose in mind – to attack and murder innocent Israeli men, women and children. This is a grave violation of Israel’s sovereignty, and a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution #1701. It is an unacceptable act of wanton aggression.
The terror tunnel that was exposed today was built under a home in a civilian neighborhood in southern Lebanon. Now, this is just one more example of how Hezbollah is committing a double war crime. They target civilians while hiding behind civilians. And this must be condemned loudly and clearly by all nations that care about peace, freedom and human dignity.
I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger. They are sacrificing your wellbeing to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran. Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for all terror activity emanating from Lebanon against Israel.
Like any other nation, Israel maintains the right to defend itself. We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran’s efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel.
Now, just as we have exposed and dismantled the terror tunnels of Hamas alongside our border with Gaza, we will expose and dismantle the terror tunnels of Hezbollah alongside our border with Lebanon.
As you know, yesterday I met in Brussels with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We discussed the imposition of new sanctions against Hezbollah after this act of aggression. And I will also speak in the coming days with other world leaders along the same lines, including the UN Secretary General Mr. Guterres.
I have asked Israel's delegation to the UN to call on the UN Security Council to convene an urgent meeting against Hezbollah and its actions.
Israel will continue to do all that is necessary to protect our people and defend our borders.