The international community “must insist that Hezbollah stop using Lebanese civilians as human shields,” said the Israeli premier.
Addressing the annual U.N. General Assembly virtually on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a secret arms depot belonging to Hezbollah near Beirut’s International Airport and warned that the terror group’s depot could lead to an explosion.
“We all saw the terrible explosion at Beirut port last month,” he said in a nearly 10-minute pre-recorded address, alluding to the explosion on Aug. 4 that rocked the Lebanese capital. The massive blast left at least 200 dead, 6,500 injured and rendered an estimated 300,000 people homeless. It also caused upward of $10 billion in property damage.
Pointing to a map behind him, Netanyahu said “here is where the next explosion could take place. Right here. This is the Beirut neighborhood of Janah. It’s right next to the international airport. And here, Hezbollah is keeping a secret arms depot.”
The depot is directly next to a gas company, as well as near another gas company and a gas station, according to Netanyahu.
“And it’s embedded in civilian housing here, [and]civilian housing here,” he said, citing the map. Netanyahu urged the Lebanese people to protect themselves and avoid the threat of another devastating explosion.
He said the international community “must insist that Hezbollah stop using Lebanon and Lebanese civilians as human shields.”
IDF reveals coordinates of ‘Hezbollah missile depots’ in Beirut
“It’s time for the world to stand up against the use of human shields by Hezbollah,” says Israeli military.
By Lilach Shoval, Israel Hayom via JNS
Hours after Netanyahu’s UN address, in an unusual move, the Israeli military tweeted the coordinates of what it said were Hezbollah missile stockpiles in Beirut, and released further information on two other sites it claimed the Shi’ite terrorist group uses as part of its weapon production efforts.
“Here are the coordinates to put in your Waze. Let’s hope the journalists get there before Nasrallah’s moving trucks do: 33.854951N, 35.486802E. And two bonus sites to check out afterward: 33.832307N, 35.513772E [and]33.815185N, 35.510432E,” the IDF posted on its official Twitter feed. The military added that it hoped “journalists get there before Nasrallah’s moving trucks do.”
In its Twitter post, the IDF said that with the help of the international community, Hezbollah’s storing of weapons among civilians could be ended.
“This is not the first time we’ve exposed Hezbollah’s precision-guided missile [PGM] manufacturing sites in the heart of Beirut. But the international community can help make this the last time. It’s time for the world to stand up against the use of human shields by Hezbollah,” the military said.
Israeli military intelligence placed one of Hezbollah’s PGM sites under four seven-story residential buildings housing about 70 families in the heart of the Lebanese capital. The depot is also about 140 yards from a church and a hospital. The second site lurks under a residential complex housing about 50 families, located less than 100 meters from a mosque.
Israel maintains that Iran, Hezbollah’s patron, is the one fueling its precision-guided missile development scheme.
“Releasing information about these sites seeks to call on the Lebanese government, with the support of the international community, to intervene in what is happening in the country, and at the same time to allow the Lebanese people to defend themselves against the dangers of allowing Hezbollah, which does Iran’s bidding, to increase its hold on their country,” the IDF said in a statement.
“Israel and the IDF monitor these sites through various means and have a great deal of information about the precision guided missile project. We will continue to meet this [project]with broad operational response, using various methods and tools.”
In a series of tweets last week, the IDF said, “No military should have to write a thread like this, but we can’t stand idly by when there are important questions that must be asked: Last week, a Hezbollah arms depot exploded in the middle of a neighborhood in southern Lebanon … but why was it there in the first place?
“Hezbollah’s strategy is to hide their weapons inside civilian neighborhoods. Why? So that if things were to escalate with Israel, Israel would have no choice but to target civilian areas. Why does Hezbollah want Israel to target civilian areas? Because then there would be international outrage at the fact that Israel has targeted civilians.
“Dear world, international outrage should begin now. Hezbollah should not be storing weapons in civilian areas and risking the lives of the Lebanese people. Humans should not serve as shields for weapons.”