BEIRUT, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The overall situation in the area of operation of the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon along the border with Israel remains calm, said UNIFIL on Tuesday.
UNIFIL was informed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Tuesday morning that they have started activities south of the Blue Line to look for suspected tunnels, said UNIFIL in a statement.
The international peacekeeping force was working with all interlocutors in order to maintain the overall stability, and the peacekeepers have further increased their patrolling along the Blue Line together with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to maintain the overall stability and avoid misunderstandings that could lead to any escalation, according to the statement.
The Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, Stefano Del Col, was in close contact with both LAF and IDF, and urged again all parties to use UNIFIL's liaison, coordination and tripartite mechanisms in de-escalating any tension, added the statement.
UNIFIL monitors the Blue Line around-the-clock and reports all violations of the UN Security Council resolution 1701.
Israel announced early Tuesday morning that it launched the "Northern Shield" operation and had begun excavations to block tunnels that the Israeli army claimed Hezbollah had dug into northern Israel from Lebanon.