Netanyahu: 'Hezbollah Blatantly Lying to the International Community' by Denying Weapons Storage

Lebanese foreign minister said Netanyahu's claims at the UN that Hezbollah built weapons storage facilities in the heart of the civilian population in Beirut are false and are being used to justify Israeli aggression

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, speaks during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, September 27, 2018.
Bloomberg

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that "Hezbollah is blatantly lying to the international community" by denying claims he made at the UN General Assembly that Hezbollah built weapons storage facilities in the heart of the civilian population in Beirut.

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry convened foreign ambassadors to respond to Netanyahu's charges and plans to take them on a tour of at least one of the locations in Beirut. Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Monday that the Lebanese government would not agree to the deployment of missiles in the area of the airport.

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During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday Netanyahu said the Iranian facility contains technology for Iran's nuclear program, adding that Iran "took this radioactive material and spread it around Tehran like Nutella." Netanyahu said that Iran removed 15kg of radioactive material from the warehouse last month, and that it contained up to 300 tons of nuclear-related material. Netanyahu called on the IAEA to inspect the facility immediately.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said on Monday that Israel was seeking to "justify another aggression" with false allegations of missile sites belonging to Iran-backed Hezbollah.

On Monday, Netanyahu called the foreign ambassador tour "a futile campaign," saying that Bassil refrained from taking the ambassadors "to the underground missile manufacturing plant which is located underground." Netanyahu said: "The ambassadors should ask themselves why they had to wait three days before carrying out the tour. As a matter of course, Hezbollah is careful to clean up the area at the sites that were uncovered."

Netanyahu added that "it is regrettable that the Lebanese government sacrificed the welfare of its citizens by covering up for Hezbollah that has taken Lebanon hostage to its aggression against Israel."