Nabih Berri, speaks after he was re-elected Lebanon's parliamentary speaker, as Lebanon's newly elected parliament convenes for the first time to elect a speaker and deputy speaker in Beirut, Lebanon May 23, 2018.
(photo credit: LEBANESE PARLIAMENT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson called on Lebanon’s foreign minister Monday to stop Hezbollah terror and take away their weapons near Beirut’s airport. The tweet by Maj. Avichai Adraee followed an invitation issued by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil to foreign ambassadors to tour a site which Israel alleged was used by Hezbollah to try to build precision missiles.
“What do you want to say to the ambassadors Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil? You should first, stop the terror of Hezbollah and to take their weapons from near Beirut airport!” Adraee posted on Twitter on Monday.
“Have you checked well if ‘Party of God’ still owns the sites we have showed to the world or it doesn’t matter anymore?” “When the Lebanese Foreign Ministry invites ambassadors from different countries to respond to the Israeli ‘lies,’we should see what was supposed to happen (in Lebanon) since we discovered Hezbollah positions near Beirut airport. This time we [the IDF] must tell the truth!” he added.
Bassil extended the invitation to all foreign ambassadors in Lebanon for a meeting Monday afternoon at the Foreign Ministry, following allegations made Thursday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly. Netanyahu had said that several sites next to Rafic Hariri International Airport were used by Hezbollah in an attempt to convert non-precision ground-to- ground missiles to precision missiles to hit Israeli cities. According to Lebanon’s National News Agency, the meeting would begin at 3:00 p.m. when the ambassadors will “listen to the Ministry’s response to the allegations of Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the missile sites.” Following the presentation, the ambassadors would then “visit one of the sites near Beirut’s airport,” the report said.
Nabih Berri, speaker of Lebanon’s parliament, commended Bassil’s invitation, calling it a “necessary” move.
“Well done. This move is needed and necessary,” Berri was quoted by Lebanon’s Naharnet news website as saying, adding that “the claims are dangerous and must not be disregarded or addressed lightly. A national stand is necessary to address it.”
“It is shameful for this to happen while we are distracted with little things and ministerial portfolios,” he added, referring to Lebanon’s delay to form a government.
Over the past year, Hezbollah has been trying to build an infrastructure to convert ground-to-ground missiles to precision missiles, and senior Hezbollah officials decided to transfer the precision missile project, which they have been dealing with for some time, to civilian areas in the heart of Beirut.
Accusing Hezbollah of “deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields,” Netanyahu pointed out that one of the sites is located inside a Hezbollah soccer stadium, another is adjacent to the airport and another next to the Ouzai fishermen’s harbor.