IDF shows Hizbullah removing arms from exploded home

IDF releases video from Friday's explosion in the Lebanese village of Shehabiyeh showing people removing rockets from a building.

By
September 5, 2010 21:55
2 minute read.
IDF video showing the explosion at Shehabiyeh.

IDF vid of Hizbullah 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
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New video footage released by the IDF on Sunday of a home in southern Lebanon where a Hizbullah arms cache accidentally exploded on Friday shows people removing long-range rockets from the structure and transferring them to alternative storage centers.

The home, in the southern Lebanese village of Shehabiyeh, exploded Friday morning. The IDF immediately dispatched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to film the scene and defense officials said that the home was previously known to Israel as a significant arms cache used by Hizbullah fighters in the area.

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The UAV footage shows a pillar of smoke rising from the home as people, likely Hizbullah operatives, close off the street below and prevent soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces from approaching the area.

In addition, the footage shows a canvas sheet spread out atop part of the roof, likely to cover up the hole of the explosion. Already Friday afternoon, despite the daylight, Hizbullah began evacuating some of the weaponry from the site, including 107 and 122 mm rockets, the mainstay of Hizbullah’s missile arsenal.

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Later, at night, the evacuation picked up speed, seemingly due to a Hizbullah belief that Israel would have more difficulty detecting the illicit activity, which clearly violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 which forbids Hizbullah from storing weaponry in southern Lebanon.

Dozens of cars and operatives are seen at the home, carrying out large amounts of weaponry and loading them into the vehicles, some of which then travel to nearby homes. Other trucks carried some of the weaponry to a mosque in Nabatieh, a town in central Lebanon, where UNIIFL is not allowed to operate.

The mosque is known to the IDF as a Hizbullah facility that is used by the guerilla organization for various, including military, activities. The assessment within the IDF’s Northern Command is that the weaponry was transferred north of the Litani River – where UNIFIL’s mandate ends – to prevent the peacekeeping forces from detecting the violation.

This is the third known case of a Hizbullah arms cache accidentally exploding in southern Lebanon in the past 16 months. Last October, another home exploded in the southern Lebanese village of Tayr Filsay. IDF UAVs filmed Hezbollah operatives removing what appeared to be missiles from the homes and loading them on to a truck. Last July, a Hizbullah arms cache accidentally exploded in the southern Lebanese village of Hirbet Selm. The cache was hidden inside a home in the village and contained dozens of 122mm Katyusha rockets as well as high-powered machine guns.

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