Hezbollah Leader Threatens Dimona Nuclear Reactor

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, says in a future round of hostilities with Israel his group would surprise Israel 'with what we are hiding.'

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah speaking to followers by remote broadcast, Feb. 16, 2017.
Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah speaking to followers by remote broadcast in Jebshit, Lebanon, Feb. 16, 2017.Credit: Ali Hashisho/Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The leader of the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah militia, Hassan Nasrallah, threatened that in any future round of fighting between his fighter and Israel, his group would not only hit the tank where Israel's stocks of ammonia are stored but also hit the nuclear reactor in Dimona in Israel's south.

Israel's only stock of ammonia is currently stored in an industrial tank in the Haifa. Amid concerns regarding the presence of the ammonia tank in a highly populated urban area, earlier this week a court ordered it removed within ten days, but Haifa Chemicals, the main user of the tank, has obtained a temporary stay of the order.

"We will hit the ammonia tank wherever it is," Nasrallah said in a speech Thursday. Referring to Haifa's relative proximity to the Lebanese border, he added: "Of course, Haifa would be easier but we will hit it anywhere." He also commented on recent reports regarding the danger posed by ammonia transported to Haifa by ship a that then anchors at the Haifa port every several weeks. "We can also reach the ship," Nasrallah declared.

The Lebanese militia leader called on Israel to dismantle not only the Haifa ammonia tank but also the Dimona nuclear reactor. "In Israel, they know that Hezbollah has the possibility of reaching the nuclear reactor, which is antiquated, and it doesn't require major force to hit," Nasrallah said.

Referring to the last round of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the militia leader said: "Israel's leaders thought in 2006 that they had enough intelligence information against Hezbollah. We always have things to hide, and that's part of our strategy. You'll be surprised at what we are hiding and this can lead to a dramatic change in any future campaign."

Commenting on the joint news conference held at the White House on Wednesday by President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Nasrallah said in effect, the American president had announced the death of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians at the news conference. "The Arab leaders and all of those who had embraced negotiations as a strategy should acknowledge the failure of this approach and understand that the only path is the path of resistance," the Hezbollah leader said.

At the White House news conference, Trump stepped back somewhat from the longstanding U.S. commitment to a two-state solution - the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as the basis for a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians. "I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like," Trump said, though he noted that "the two states look like it could be the easier of the two."

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