Lebanon Accuses Israel of Threatening Its Civilian Infrastructure

Israel's UN envoy claimed at the Security Council that Beirut's port has become 'the port of Hezbollah,' saying it's used by Iran to supply the group with weapons

Lebanese civilians cross a bridge linking Beirut to Saida that was attacked by Israeli warplanes in Damour, south Beirut, July 13, 2006.

Lebanon accused Israel on Tuesday of threatening its civilian infrastructure after Israel told the United Nations Security Council that Iran was exploiting the Port of Beirut to smuggle weapons to the Hezbollah movement.

Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, said that in 2018 and 2019, "Israel found that Iran and the Quds Force have begun to advance the exploitation of the civilian maritime channels, and specifically the Port of Beirut."

"The Port of Beirut is now the Port of Hezbollah," Danon told the 15-member Security Council. Israel sees Hezbollah, against which it fought a month-long war in 2006, as the biggest threat on its borders.

Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon speaks in the Security Council, at United Nations headquarters, Monday, April 29, 2019.
Richard Drew,AP

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Lebanese UN Ambassador Amal Mudallali said the Lebanese saw such accusations a "direct threats on their peace and civilian infrastructure." Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's coalition government.

"If he is using them to prepare the ground and the international community for an attack on Lebanon's civilian ports and airport and its infrastructure - as they did in 2006 - this council should not stay silent," she said.

Speaking in the council later on Tuesday, Iran's deputy UN ambassador, Eshagh Al-Habib, did not directly address the Israeli accusations, but said Danon had "unsuccessfully tried to distract attention away from the crimes and unlawful policies of its regime."