Netanyahu Reveals 'Secret Hezbollah Missile Depot' in Beirut Residential Area

In UN speech, PM says Iran will have enough enriched uranium in a few months for two nuclear bombs

Yaniv Kubovich
Jonathan Lis
Reuters
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Netanyahu speaking at the 2020 UN General Assembly via live stream from Israel, September 29, 2020
Credit: ,AP
Yaniv Kubovich
Jonathan Lis
Reuters

Hezbollah is storing missiles in a secret depot at a residential neighborhood in Beirut, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Netanyahu presented intel that showed the alleged depot was located at the Janah neighborhood in Beirut, and said it was a few meters away from a gas station.

Netanyahu addresses the UN General Assembly.

He called upon the residents of Janah to act now and tell the Lebanese government to tear the warehouses down. 

"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 that what they’ve done is unacceptable," he said.

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In reponse to Netanyahu's speech, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said the prime minister was lying about the missile sites.

"A short while ago, the enemy's prime minister spoke directly in a speech at the United Nations, saying things in order to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah, as usual," said Nasrallah.

He added that Netanyahu was trying to provoke the Lebanese against Hezbollah with accusations of missile sites in Beirut.

Netanyahu also touched on Iran and the nuclear deal, reiterating his opposition to it "because the deal’s restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program were only temporary and were in no way tied to Iran’s change of behavior."

Now Iran has violated even those temporary restrictions, Netanyahu said, and because of these violations, he claimed, Tehran "will have enough enriched uranium in a few months for two nuclear bombs, and Iran has been working on the new generation of centrifuges – it’s called the IR-9 – which will multiply Iran’s enrichment capability 50 fold."

UAE's foreign minister addresses the UN General Assembly.

The premier said that "there is no question that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. The one secret nuclear archive Israel’s agents obtained from the heart of Tehran proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt."

He also criticized other signatories of the accord, saying that in the run up to the deal's signing "Israel was told, especially by our European friends, that any Iranian violation would be met with a quick and severe response."

However, Netanyahu said, "in the face of Iran’s brazen violations, in the face of the irrefutable evidence of the nuclear archive, the Security Council has done, well, absolutely nothing."

It was announced in a statement earlier by a diplomatic source that Netanyahu is expected to address Hezbollah's "secret deployment in Lebanon" in his speech.

"Netanyahu will reveal in the speech the secret deployment" of the organization. Netanyahu's speech at the assembly will be broadcast online.

The prime minister is currently facing a maelstorm of criticism at home as weekly mass protests have been taking place in front of his official residence in Jerusalem, drawing tens of thousands of Israelis calling upon him to resign over his management of the coronavirus crisis and what they perceive as an attempt to evade his three criminal court cases.

On Tuesday, the Knesset was deliberating amendments to the country's coronavirus law that would allow the government to drastically limit Israelis ability to protest during a lockdown.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York two years ago, Netanyahu said that Hezbollah had set up missile storage facilities in the heart of residential areas in Beirut, including near the city's airport.

The facilities were part of a joint effort by Hezbollah and Iran to upgrade the organization's missile array. Hezbollah aims to convert its surface-to-surface missiles and build an infrastructure of long-range precision missiles.

Earlier on Tuesday, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed told the assembly that "the signing of the agreement to establish relations with Israel two weeks ago allowed for the freezing of annexation of the territories in the West Bank."

"We hope this peace accord will afford an opportunity for Palestinians and Israelis to re-enter negotiations to achieve peace," bin Zayed added.

In his speech at the signing ceremony of the agreements to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Netanyahu said that "the agreements can lead to the end of the Israeli-Arab conflict once and for all."

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