Anyone trying to harm Israel will pay a “heavy price,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday afternoon, in his first statement about Operation Northern Shield to destroy Hezbollah terror tunnels penetrating into Israel.
Netanyahu will convene a meeting of the security cabinet in the evening to discuss the first stages of the operation.
He said there has already been “success” in the first stages of the operation, but did not elaborate.
“We are working responsibly and with determination on all fronts in parallel,” said Netanyahu, who also took over as defense minister last month when Avigdor Lieberman resigned because he was unhappy Netanyahu did not approve more aggressive steps against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“We will continue with other actions, overt and covert, to ensure Israel’s security,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu returned to Israel early Tuesday morning from Brussels, where he held a previously unannounced meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
According to the statement from the PMO, Netanyahu briefed Pompeo on Operation Northern Shield and stressed that the tunnels were a blatant violation of UN Security Resolution 1701 that called for “full respect” of the Blue Line, which is the recognized international border between Israel and Lebanon.
Following that meeting, the State Department said that Pompeo emphasized the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and absolute right to self-defense and “reiterated America’s resolve in confronting the totality of the Iranian regime’s threats through maximum pressure.“
Reported by: The Jerusalem Post