Lebanon to file complaint at UN over Israel

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ISTANBUL
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Lebanon plans to lodge a complaint against Israel at the U.N. over a diplomatic and political campaign in preparation for attacks against it. Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has instructed Lebanon's permanent representative to the U.N., Ambassador Amal Mudallali, to submit the complaint, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

The ministry said that Israel penetrated the national communications network and sent recorded phone messages to residents of the village of Kfar Kila warning them that there would be bombings on Lebanese territories and their lives will be endangered.

Earlier this week, Israel launched an operation on Hezbollah on the grounds that the Iran-backed militant group had built tunnels, some of which were reaching into Israeli territories or territories under Israeli occupation. Israel claimed that the group was preparing for an attack. In a statement, the army said the tunnel system was dug by Lebanese group Hezbollah south of the Lebanese town of Kfar Kila.

Israel and Hezbollah have avoided major conflict across the Lebanese-Israeli border since their last war in 2006, during which at least 1,200 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, were killed. However, Israel has mounted attacks in Syria targeting what it said were advanced weapon deliveries to the Shiite Muslim group.

However, considering there is an election approaching in Israel, which is looking to be quite contentious as the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under fire for alleged corruption and his Cabinet is divided over some of the country's policies, questions have arisen over whether the Israeli government was following an agenda to terrorize the region for its own sake. Similarly, the Israeli operation might be seen as an indirect intervention in Lebanon, where political parties have continuously failed to form a government. Israel may benefit from the absence of a government, a notable part of which will be the Hezbollah-backed government. To that end, Israel may be using the tunnels as a pretext to mount pressure on the country.

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