Israel’s Netanyahu says Hezbollah has ‘arms depot’ in Beirut

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In this image from UNTV video, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)
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In this image from UNTV video, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)
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In this image from UNTV video, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters. (UNTV via AP)
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Updated 30 September 2020

Israel’s Netanyahu says Hezbollah has ‘arms depot’ in Beirut

  • Netanyahu says Arabs and Israeli are urging tough action on Iran
  • He was speaking at 75th UN General Assembly meeting

LONDON: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of maintaining a “secret arms depot” in a residential neighborhood of Beirut, warning it could cause another tragic explosion in the Lebanese capital.
In an address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Netanyahu showed maps purportedly showing the missile depot’s location next to a gas station and residential housing. He also showed what he said was a picture of the entrance to the depot.
“Here’s where the next explosion will take place, right here,” he said.
Addressing the Lebanese people, he said: “You’ve got to act now, you’ve got to protest this, because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy. ... You should tell them, ‘Tear these depots down.’”
Last month, a warehouse filled with nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s port, killing nearly 200 people, wounding thousands and causing widespread destruction in the capital. The ammonium nitrate had been stored there for several years.

No one has yet been held accountable for the blast, which appears to have been triggered by an accidental fire.
Netanyahu said Israel and states across the Arab world “not only stand together in advancing peace, we stand together in confronting the greatest enemy of peace in the Middle East — Iran.”

He told world leaders that Iran repeatedly attacks its neighbors and its terror proxies are directly involved in violence throughout the Middle East, including in Iraq, Syria, Yemen Gaza and Lebanon.
He told the people of Lebanon that “Israel means you no harm, but Iran does,” and that “Iran and Hezbollah have deliberately put you and your families in grave danger.”
Finally, Netanyahu said “both Arabs and Israeli are urging tough action on Iran, and when Arabs and Israelis agree, other should pay attention.”
(With AP)

 

 


Hundreds of Syrians exit Lebanese town over tensions: UN

Updated 27 November 2020

Hundreds of Syrians exit Lebanese town over tensions: UN

  • UNHCR spokesperson: ‘Collective punishment... for a whole community for an incident involving one individual is unacceptable’
  • Those who fled, said they were chased out of Bsharre, a Christian-majority town, after a Syrian was accused of shooting dead a Lebanese resident

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: At least 270 Syrian families have left a north Lebanon town, as hostility toward them mounted over a murder allegedly committed by a Syrian national, the UN refugee agency said Friday.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees condemned “collective reprisals against Syrians in the town,” of Bsharre, saying many of the families fled in fear without taking their belongings.
“Collective punishment... for a whole community for an incident involving one individual is unacceptable,” a UNHCR spokesperson said in a statement.
Many of those who fled the Christian-majority town said they were chased out by Bsharre residents after a Syrian on Monday was accused of shooting dead a Lebanese resident, sparking widespread tension and hostility.
Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported forced evictions of Syrians in the wake of the murder, but Bsharre’s mayor denied that the Syrians had left out of fear.
An AFP correspondent in Tripoli saw dozens of Syrian families gathering outside a UNHCR building in the northern city.
A group of young men in Bsharre “assaulted us, threatened us and started a fire” in the house, Umm Khaled, a 31-year-old Syrian mother of five told AFP.
“We picked up our children and ran away to Tripoli,” located more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) east, she said.
Yassin Hassan, a 30-year-old Syrian who had lived in Bsharre for years, said he was beaten by a group of men.
“We ran away... without taking anything from our homes,” he told AFP.
Tripoli is among the most welcoming destinations in Lebanon for refugees.
Lebanon, which is grappling with an economic crisis, says it hosts some 1.5 million Syrians, including around one million registered as refugees with the United Nations.
UNHCR said it received “a large number of refugees from Bsharre” in its Tripoli reception center.
They were encouraged to find alternative housing but those with nowhere to stay were moved to shelters, a spokesperson told AFP.
The reasons behind the murder that fueled anti-Syrian sentiments in Bsharre remains shrouded in mystery.
The Syrian suspect in question has handed himself over to authorities, the army said.
A judicial source said investigations were still underway.
The mayor of Bsharre says the town is home to nearly a thousand Syrians.
Authorities have called on refugees to return to Syria even though rights groups warn that the war-torn country is not yet safe.