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Recent Israeli strike in Syria wounded top Iran, Hezbollah militants

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The border fence with Egypt in Eilat in southern Israel

"We are thus approaching the completion of the goal we set at the outset of Operation Northern Shield - the eradication of Hezbollah's tunnels weapon", he said. Conricus says the United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, has been updated. He added that Hezbollah retained underground facilities on the Lebanese side. Israel rarely comments on its operations so Mr Netanyahu's admission is rare.

Israel has called on the global community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and act against the state within a state operation in Lebanon.

Netanyahu also cited an Israeli search-and-dismantle mission against suspected Hezbollah attack tunnels along the border with Lebanon that was launched in December and deemed completed on Sunday.

Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006.

Eisenkot also said Israel needed to focus on Iran as opposed to secondary enemies such as Hamas in Gaza.

Long wary of publicity around its operations against Iran-linked targets on its northern front, Israel has lifted the veil in recent days - a sign of confidence in a campaign waged amid occasional tensions with Syria's big-power backer, Russia. On Christmas Day the Israeli jets used two civilian aircraft in flight as cover to engage targets in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, noting that the IDF's F-16s flew in as civilian jets were landing at Beirut and Damascus airports.

The United States will step up efforts to counter Iran's "dangerous activities" around the region, including the financing and activities of proxy organizations such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The highly publicized Israeli operation to expose and destroy the tunnels has gone ahead without drawing a military response from Hezbollah.

News of the operation's conclusion comes in the final week of Israel's outgoing military chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot's four-year tenure. In a New York Times interview published on Friday Eisenkot said that Israel "has struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit" as part of a shadow showdown with Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force. We will continue to monitor all activity by Hezbollah, and by Iran and its proxies. In 2018 alone, he said Israel's air force dropped 2,000 bombs in Syria.

"Three media outlets turned to us and said there was something disrupting [their broadcasts] on frequency 101.6 [FM]".

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