by: Ilse Strauss
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday exposed a secret weapons depot belonging to Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah located in a residential area near the Beirut International Airport.
Calling it “Hezbollah’s ticking time bomb,” the prime minister warned that the arms cache may well be the sign of another catastrophic explosion, similar to the one that tore through the Lebanese capital on August 4.
Netanyahu’s big reveal came during a prerecorded address to the United Nations General Assembly. Recorded against a backdrop of Jerusalem’s most iconic and haunting sights, the prime minister began with good news: the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain—with the promise of more Arab nations joining the peace fold.
He then turned his attention to grave matters. “We all saw the terrible explosion at the Beirut port last month,” Netanyahu said, pointing out the location of the blast on a large map of the Lebanese capital. “Two hundred people died, thousands of people were injured, and a quarter of a million people were made homeless.”
Pointing to a location further south on the map, the prime minister continued. “Here is where the next explosion could take place…This the Beirut neighborhood of Janah. It’s right next to the international airport. And here, Hezbollah is keeping a secret arms depot.”
Zooming in on the location, Netanyahu pointed out that the weapons cache is situated next to a gas company, a gas station and several gas canisters and gas tanks—the lethal ingredients for a terrible explosion. Moreover, it is surrounded by civilian homes.
“I say to the people of Janah, you’ve got to act now. You’ve got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu said.
A Hezbollah arms depot exploding in a civilian area is not farfetched. Last week one of the terror group’s weapons caches detonated in the southern Lebanese village of Ain Qana, a known Hezbollah stronghold. Both Lebanese and Hezbollah officials have remained vague about the cause and the extent of the explosion, with Hezbollah militants deployed at the blast sight to keep journalists out of the area.
It is time, Netanyahu held, for the international community to “insist that Hezbollah stop using Lebanon and Lebanese civilians as human shields.”
The prime minister was, however, clear that Hezbollah ultimately serves as a puppet acting on the say-so of its puppet master.
“Israel and states across the Arab world not only stand together in advancing peace. We stand together in confronting the greatest enemy of peace in the Middle East—Iran,” Netanyahu explained.
“Iran wantonly and repeatedly attacks its neighbors, and its terror proxies are directly involved in violence throughout the Middle East, including in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Gaza and of course, Lebanon.”
Half an hour after Netanyahu’s exposé, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) identified two additional underground Hezbollah missile facilities in the Lebanese capital. One is located between four seven-story apartment buildings, home to some 70 families, in close proximity to a church and a medical center. The second site is situated under five apartment buildings that house 50 families, located near a mosque.
According to the IDF, the terror group uses the three locations in its precision-guided missile project, upgrading its mammoth stash of rockets into precision missiles to be launched at Israel.
For its part, Hezbollah vehemently denied all allegations. In a bid to prove their innocence, the terror group invited the local media to inspect the site in the Janah neighborhood for weapons. Following the tour, journalists reported seeing oxygen canisters, machinery and fragments of steel and iron. No missiles were, however, found.
Hezbollah’s popularity among the Lebanese population took a severe knock in the aftermath of the Beirut port blast. The biggest explosion the city has ever experienced and the worst national disaster since the brutal 15-year civil war, the blast was caused by some 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate catching fire.
Although Lebanese officials are responsible for allowing the highly explosive material to be stored in the Beirut port, many blame Hezbollah for bringing it to Lebanon.
The terror group has faced a firestorm from angry Lebanese claiming that Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, played a leading role in the tragedy. The terror group, they charged, has caused more damage and destruction than archenemy Israel.
Posted on September 30, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 30, 2020)
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak/flickr.com
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