Israeli Defense Chief: We Know of More Sites in Iran and Beirut, Will Reveal When Time Is Right

Avigdor Lieberman also referred to criticism from Naftali Bennett, charging that the education minister has 'decided to dismantle the government'

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a visit to a settlement on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a visit to a settlement on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.Credit: Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Israel has information about other secret Iranian and Hezbollah facilities in Iran and in Beirut and will reveal it when the time is right, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly that Israel knows of three Hezbollah missile storage sites in Beirut, all located in the heart of civilian areas.

“There’s enough additional information about both Iran and Hezbollah, and we’ll reveal it at the proper moment,” Lieberman said during a tour of the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron.

>> Netanyahu's UN intel reveal forces Hezbollah to reconsider Beirut missile sites | Analysis

On Monday, Lebanon’s foreign minister took diplomats and journalists on a tour of one of the sites Netanyahu mentioned in an effort to refute Israel’s accusation. In response to the Lebanese move, Netanyahu asserted on Monday that “Hezbollah cleaned up the site.”

On Tuesday, Lieberman echoed Netanyahu’s comment. “It’s clear this was pure manipulation,” he said. “All I would suggest is that next time, they should bring journalists immediately rather than 72 hours later.”

The location of the site in Tehran Netanyahu reveled during his UN address.Credit: Google Maps

He also responded to Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s public criticism of his policy in the Gaza Strip. Bennett, who heads the Habayit Hayehudi party, “apparently decided to dismantle this rightist government and has launched an election campaign,” Lieberman said.

“This is definitely someone who’s shooting at his own APC,” he added, referring to an armored personnel carrier. “We have a good, functioning rightist government, and dismantling it would simply be wrong.”

>> The story of Hezbollah's soccer team Netanyahu mentioned at the UN

Earlier on Tuesday, Bennett had termed Lieberman’s defense policy “weak and leftist” and accused the defense minister of “pulling the government to the left.”

Responding to a reporter’s question about U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration of support for a two-state solution, Lieberman said the choice is between a Jewish state and a binational one. The plan promoted by Bennett’s party is “to grant Israeli citizenship to tens of thousands of Palestinians” living in the West Bank, he charged, whereas he favors both territorial swaps and population exchanges.

“I believe in a bilateral agreement between us and the Palestinians,” Lieberman continued. “I believe in a comprehensive regional agreement, a package deal that must include the moderate Arab states, moderate Sunni countries, Arab Israelis and of course the Palestinians, but only in last place.”

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