Israeli soldiers stand guard at a security checkpoint close to the border with Lebanon, near the northern Israeli town of Metula, on Dec. 5, 2018. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Wednesday over the telephone with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, about Israel's operation to locate and destroy cross-border tunnels dug by Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched earlier Tuesday an open-ended operation to locate and destroy the Hezbollah-built tunnels crossing from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. (Xinhua/JINI/Ayal Margolin)
JERUSALEM, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Wednesday over the telephone with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, about Israel's operation to locate and destroy cross-border tunnels dug by Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia.
The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying the prime minister told the secretary-general that he views "with utmost gravity the flagrant violation of Israeli sovereignty," which the tunnels caused.
He added that the tunnels, some of them cross from southern Lebanon inside northern Israel, are a "violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701." The 2006 resolution calls for the cessation of all Hezbollah armed attacks.
He charged that this was "an additional part of Iran's aggression in the region."
During the call, Netanyahu updated Guterres on the details of the "Northern Shield" operation, which the Israeli army launched on Tuesday, and urged the United Nations to strongly condemn "the violation of Israel's sovereignty."
Netanyahu also told Guterres that the international community "must join in the demand to impose increased sanctions on Hezbollah in the wake of the events."
According to Israel, the tunnels were built by Hezbollah in order to carry out a large-scale attack against Israel.
On Tuesday, the army said it had uncovered a tunnel running from the village of Kafr Kila in southern Lebanon till the northern town of Metula in northern Israel.
According to Netanyahu, Hezbollah planned to use the tunnel to insert its fighter into Israel and occupy a party of the Galilee.
Also on Wednesday, Lebanon's Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri, said during a meeting with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the UN peacekeeping force, that Israel provided no evidence for cross-border tunnels.
Hezbollah, an Iran-backed armed group, has not commented on the operation.