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Netanyahu: Hezbollah Keeping ‘Secret Arms Depot’ in Beirut, Warns of Another Explosion

09-30-2020
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 In this image from UNTV video, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)
In this image from UNTV video, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that Hezbollah is harboring weapons near Beirut’s International Airport, warning it could cause another catastrophic explosion in the Lebanese capital.

Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of “keeping a secret arms depot” in the Beirut neighborhood of Janah. During his presentation, he pointed to maps allegedly showing the missile depot’s location “fifty meters” from a gas station and residential homes. Netanyahu also showed a picture of what he claims is the entrance to Hezbollah’s missile factory.

"Here's where the next explosion will take place – right here," he said.
Netanyahu called on residents of the neighborhood to protest Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran.

"Israel means you no harm. But Iran does. Iran and Hezbollah have deliberately put you and your families in grave danger. And what you should make clear is what they have done is unacceptable. You should tell them, 'tear these depots down.'"

After Netanyahu’s address, the Israel Defense Forces released detailed maps of the site and two other alleged missile depots it said were in residential neighborhoods. The military described all three as precision-guided missile manufacturing sites but gave no other evidence and did not say how advanced the manufacturing program is.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied Netanyahu’s claims and accused him of “lying” about the alleged secret weapons depot.

"We do not put missiles neither at Beirut's port or near a gas station and know well where we will put our missiles,” said Nasrallah.

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Hezbollah invited media outlets to immediately survey the site, where they found heavy machinery in a small factory and no evidence of weapons.

"This facility is a normal industrial facility in this area present here maybe for tens of years,” said Hezbollah spokesperson Mohammed Afif.

Last month a warehouse full of 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in the Beirut port, killing nearly 200 people, wounding thousands, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

The chemical had been stored in the warehouse for years. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, which was reportedly triggered by an accidental fire.

However, some placed the blame on Hezbollah. Israel has long claimed the terror group is keeping dangerous material in residential areas of Beirut and southern Lebanon. Both areas are strongholds of support for the Iranian-backed terror group.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday berated Hezbollah and Lebanese leaders for being unwilling to set aside personal and religious interests to allow international aid into Lebanon. Lebanon is deep in an economic crisis worsened by last month’s blast. Macron warned of a new civil war in Lebanon if leaders do not enact urgent reforms.

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