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Israel gave no proof of border tunnels, says Lebanon’s Berri

By Reuters - Dec 06,2018 - Last updated at Dec 06,2018

This photo taken on Wednesday, near the Israeli town of Zarit, shows a blocked road near the border with Lebanon, after the area was declared a closed military zone by the Israeli forces (AFP photo)

BEIRUT — Israel provided no evidence of cross-border attack tunnels in a meeting with UN peacekeepers on Wednesday, Lebanon's Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said.

Israel launched an operation on Tuesday to "expose and thwart" tunnels into its territory which it said came from Lebanon. 

Israel accused Lebanon's Hizbollah movement of digging across the frontier. It said the tunnels did not function yet but posed "an imminent threat".

There was no comment from Iran-backed Hizbollah. 

"The Israelis did not present any information" at the meeting with the Lebanese army and the UNIFIL peacekeeping force, a statement from Berri's office said. 

Berri, a political ally of Hizbollah, said Lebanon had asked for geographic coordinates but received none. 

"This [Israeli accusation] is not based on any real facts at all," Ali Bazzi, a lawmaker from Berri's parliamentary bloc cited the speaker as saying after a meeting. 

Lebanon's foreign ministry will submit a complaint to the United Nations about "repeated Israeli violations," state news agency NNA said. 

Mechanical diggers, drills and other heavy machinery were seen from south Lebanon throughout Tuesday, working on the Israeli side of the heavily-guarded border. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late on Tuesday the operation would continue for as long as necessary.

The Lebanese army said it was “fully prepared to face any emergency” and its side of the border remained calm on Tuesday. 

Israel and Hizbollah have avoided major conflict across the border since their last war in 2006, though Israel has mounted attacks in Syria targeting the heavily armed Shiite Hizbollah.

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