UPDATE-Israel says Hezbollah tunnel found on Lebanon border

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JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli military said Tuesday a cross-border tunnel was discovered near border with Lebanon.

In a statement, the army said the tunnel was dug by Lebanese group Hezbollah south of Lebanese town of Kafr Kela.

“[The tunnel] did not pose an immediate threat to Israeli communities in the surrounding area,” the statement said.

Earlier Tuesday, the army launched a military operation to “expose and thwart” cross-border tunnels allegedly dug by Hezbollah along border with Lebanon.

The Israeli army says the effort, called Operation Northern Shield, “aims at thwarting Hezbollah’s offensive tunnels stretched inside Israeli territories”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, hailed what he described as successes of the anti-tunnel operation.

“The operation's goal is exposing and neutralizing terror tunnels from Lebanon,” he said in a statement.

"Whoever tries to harm the State of Israel will pay a heavy price,” he said. “We are acting with determination and responsibility in all sectors simultaneously. We will continue with other actions, overt and covert, in order to ensure Israel's security."

In 2006, Israel launched a war against Hezbollah during which at least 1,200 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, were killed.

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