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Israel's defense begins laying sensors that detect tunnel digging

By
Allen Cone
An Israeli soldier appears in a tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group of Hezbollah near the Israeli town of Zar'it at the Israeli border with Lebanon last July 4. Israel's military discovered and destroyed six tunnels dug by the Hezbollah terror group as part of Operation Northern Shield. Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA-EFE
An Israeli soldier appears in a tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group of Hezbollah near the Israeli town of Zar'it at the Israeli border with Lebanon last July 4. Israel's military discovered and destroyed six tunnels dug by the Hezbollah terror group as part of Operation Northern Shield. Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA-EFE

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Israel has begun installing "highly sohisticated' underground sensors along the northern border with Lebanon to detect new subterranean tunnels, Israel Defense Forces said Sunday.

"These sensors will identify and prevent underground construction of attack tunnels into Israel by the Hezbollah terror organization in Lebanon," Israel Defense Forces posted on Twitter.

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One year ago, Israel's military discovered and destroyed six tunnels dug by the Hezbollah terror group as part of Operation Northern Shield.

"The installation of this system is a preventative infrastructure step, it is not based on new intelligence," the military said in a Times of Israel report.

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IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the new technology was declared operational after a series of tests.

On Sunday morning, the IDF began digging the holes to install the detection system, which will record acoustic and seismic data. The exact number and location of sensors wasn't revealed but will be based upon intelligence, budget and situational needs, IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman said.

The first sensors will be installed near the community of Misgav Am in the northern Galilee.

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"This is an action that will be seen and heard both in our territory and on the Lebanese side - we want to prevent a miscalculation," Zilberman said.

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No troop reinforcements are part of the project, Zilberman said.

Conricus said the military informed the peacekeeping United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and local Israeli municipalies of its plans to install these sensors along the so-called Blue Line. This is unofficial but widely recognized border between Israel and Lebanon.

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The border has not seen significant fighting since the end of the 2006 war against Hezbollah.

"IDF forces will continue to fulfill their mission of defending, and will operate around the clock in order to preserve the sovereignty of the State of Israel and protect its citizens," the military said in a statement obtained by the Jerusalem Post.

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