WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has taken domestic and international media outlets on a tour of an alleged missile site in Beirut, which turned out to be a gas canister factory, after Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed before the United Nations General Assembly to be revealing the location of an missile depot.
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.
During a recorded address to the UNGA in New York on Tuesday, Netanyahu claimed that Hezbollah is hiding a "missile depot” next to a series of gas facilities in the Lebanese capital, risking another explosion like that which devastated the city last month.
"I say to the people of Janah, you’ve got to act now. You’ve got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy,” Netanyahu said.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah rejected the claims and said Netanyahu was lying about missile sites in Lebanon, saying "This is incitement of the Lebanese people against Hezbollah.”
"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.
"If there [were] missiles there placed by Hezbollah - even a single weapon - I would not waste a minute before informing you of this matter,” Nasrallah assured. "We don’t put rockets, not in the Beirut port, not by a gas station. We know very well where to put our weapons.”
As the journalists were touring the warehouse, Hezbollah supporters gathered outside, chanting their support for the Hezbollah chief and shouting, "We are your rockets!”
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.
‘Operation Underway to
In another part of his speech, Nasrallah warned about an operation underway to revive Daesh’s presence in the Middle East in order to whip up an excuse for the United States’ continued presence in the region under the guise of fighting the terrorist group.
"There exists an operation for revival of Daesh in Iraq and Syria and other areas. Daesh’s revival is aimed at justifying the American forces’ continued presence in the region,” said Hezbollah Secretary-General.
Nasrallah, therefore, urged caution and alertness against the plots targeting the region.
The Hezbollah leader also said the terrorist group had managed to rear its head in some regional areas following the U.S.’s assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in Baghdad in January.