Israel posts video of alleged Hezbollah Beirut arms plants

Israel posts video of alleged Hezbollah Beirut arms plants
2 min read
Israel's army released videos meant to prove the presence of Hezbollah missile factories in the suburbs of Beirut,
Israel is accusing Hezbollah of hiding missile factories in Beirut [Getty]
The Israeli army released videos on Friday meant to prove the presence of Hezbollah missile factories in the suburbs of Beirut, despite the denials of the Lebanese Shia movement. 

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of manufacturing and storing weapons near fuel facilities in Beirut and warned of a "another tragedy" in the event of an explosion. 

On August 4, hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at Beirut's port exploded, killing more than 190 people, injuring thousands and ravaging large parts of the city.

Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Hezbollah, backed by Israel's arch-foe Iran, of building missiles to attack the Jewish state.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused the Israeli premier of "inciting the Lebanese people against Hezbollah as usual". 

"We don't store rockets at Beirut port, nor do we put them next to gas stations," he said in a televised address.

"We will allow media outlets to go into this site and see what's there," he said.

Dozens of journalists, including an AFP photographer, then went to the site located in Jnah, in Beirut's southern suburbs. 

There they saw heavy machinery inside a two-storey warehouse.

"This is a normal industrial site," said Hezbollah spokesman Mohammad Afif, who accompanied the group. 

In the latest salvo in the media war between Israel and Hezbollah, the Israeli army on Friday posted a video on its WhatsApp and Twitter accounts showing the equipment journalists had filmed at the Beirut site. 

According to the video, the images show a "laser cutting machine", a "hydraulic cutting machine", a "rolling machine" and a machine for bending metal -- equipment which it said enables the production of components for precision-guided missiles. 

The army said the cutters could be used to create "warheads" and "stabilisation fins", and the two other machines to form metal cylinders used in building missiles able to strike strategic targets in Israel. 

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating month-long war in 2006 which killed more than 1,200 the Lebanese side, mainly civilians, and 160 on the Israelis side, most of them soldiers.

Israel has also carried out dozens of air strikes on Hezbollah targets in neighbouring Syria, where the group is fighting alongside the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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