Speaking to Israel's Army Radio, Ya'alon said that the Israeli officials lied about the tunnels for years before they made a decision to carry out an operation to destroy them earlier this week. Hezbollah had no immediate comment on the claims or the Israeli activities across the border.
The operation exposed Hezbollah's terror tunnel digging efforts, which mirror the tactics of the Hamas terror group in Gaza. The army urged Israel not to carry out any work inside Lebanese territory.
All Lebanon can do is register its disapproval at the United Nations and call on the U.S.A.to rein in its ally, a request the Lebanese state has made twice this year and every year since the Israelis were pushed out of the South in 2000 (Interestingly, according to a source at UNIFIL, there are no cumulative figures on Israeli violations, although they probably run into the tens of thousands).
The IDF says it has been tracking Hezbollah's attack tunnels since 2014 and expects to find and destroy several more in a campaign that will last weeks to months. The Israeli army said it used the meeting to express its objection to "the severe violation of Israeli sovereignty".
A representative of the Lebanese army said on Wednesday during a trilateral meeting with the Israeli military and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) that Israel must leave "occupied territories" in southern Lebanon, a statement of the Lebanese Armed Forces said.
The goal of Hezbollah was to isolate Metula by severing Route 90, the highway that links Israel's northernmost town with the rest of the country.
As operations continued on Thursday, the Israeli army said it had contacted UNIFIL, which monitors the border region, regarding a tunnel originating on the Lebanese side of the border. Mudallali stressed that Israel's actions are a violation of United Nations resolution 1701, which was approved resolve the Israel-Lebanon conflict and ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
"This constitutes a new and extremely serious attack on the security and safety of the citizens of Lebanon, whereby Israel is violating the dignity and privacy of individuals and making a direct threat against their lives", Mudallali wrote.
He appealed to both sides in using the mechanisms to "avoid misunderstandings and ensure that security and stability" along the border is maintained and reinforced.
Recent reports have surfaced that Israel is seeking diplomatic ties with Bahrain; the Jerusalem Post reported in late November that Israeli government sources confirmed that Israel and Bahrain were communicating in an attempt establish official diplomatic relations between the two countries.