Alwaght- Lebanon's Hezbollah took reporters on a tour of a warehouse in a Beirut neighborhood to reject Israeli regime Premier's accusation in his UN rant that the group has stored missiles there.
Hezbollah’s media officer Muhammad Afif escorted dozens of reporters and photojournalists as they visited the site in the Jnah neighborhood on Tuesday evening.
No traces of missiles or their production were seen at the facility. The journalists, including AP and AFP photographers, also confirmed no missiles or weapons of any kind were stored there.
“The tour was organized for members of the press to visit the site and to dismiss the Israeli prime minister’s allegations of a missile depot in Beirut,” Afif told reporters.
He added, “The tour reveals that the site has nothing to do with storing weapons. It is an industrial facility belonging to a Lebanese man, and there are no missiles inside it.”
Afif underlined that all accusations made by Israel against Hezbollah are “false and fabricated,” adding that “Netanyahu’s remarks are meant to provoke the Lebanese nation against Hezbollah and are part of a psychological war.”
Speaking in a video to the United Nations General Assembly, pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic, Netanyahu claimed that there was a missile depot in the Jnah neighborhood near a gas company.
“You’ve got to act now, you’ve got to protest this, because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu said, addressing the Lebanese people. “You should tell them, ‘Tear these depots down.’”
Following the address, the Israeli military released detailed maps showing the site in Jnah and two other alleged missile depots it said were under residential apartment blocks.
Hours later, however, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah rejected the claims and said Netanyahu was lying about missile sites in Lebanon.
“A short while ago, the enemy’s prime minister spoke directly in an address to the United Nations, saying things in order to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah as usual,” Nasrallah said.
A picture taken on September 29, 2020 shows the site of a facility in Beirut's southern suburb of Jnah, Lebanon, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement of storing weapons in. (Photo by AFP)
He added that Hezbollah is inviting journalists to the alleged site due to the sensitivity of the situation in the aftermath of the deadly August 4 Beirut port explosion, which killed some 200 people, wounded thousands more and ravaged buildings in surrounding residential neighborhoods.
“Whoever wants to go can go now. If Hezbollah is storing missiles in this facility, then there is not enough time to remove them,” Nasrallah said.“We don’t store missiles at the port or near gas facilities. We know where to store missiles.”
“We will allow media outlets to enter the facility so that the world knows that Netanyahu is lying,” he added.
As the journalists were touring the warehouse, Hezbollah supporters gathered outside, chanting their support for the Hezbollah chief and shouting, “We are your rockets!”
Meanwhile, the owner of the facility, Muhammad Rammal, told the UAE-based The National that he was surprised by Netanyahu’s claims.
“This is a normal place. We’re a normal part of this area,” Rammal said.
Tensions have been running high between Israel and Hezbollah since July 20, when Tel Aviv killed Hezbollah member Ali Kamel Mohsen in an airstrike in Syria.
The Israeli military has placed its forces near the Lebanese and Syrian borders on high alert after Hezbollah promised retaliation.