Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on Monday dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations before the UN General Assembly last week, about Hezbollah rocket conversion facilities located inside civilian communities around Beirut, and invited foreign ambassadors to tour the alleged sites.
Bassil rejected Netanyahu’s accusations, calling them “an attempt to justify another violation” of Lebanon’s sovereignty.
“Israel has violated our land, sea, and air over 1500 times in the last eight months, it does not respect UN resolution 1701,” Bassil said. “Netanyahu uses the UN platform to justify Israel’s violation of international resolutions.”
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, unanimously approved on August 11, 2006, calls for, among other things, full respect for the Blue Line, the border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel; and maintaining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders.
Of course, the same resolution also calls for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, meaning Hezbollah. So, as long as Hezbollah keeps violating 1701 by manufacturing accurate missiles aimed at Israel, Israel won’t stop flying over Lebanon to try and stop them.
Netanyahu told the UN that “in Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles, missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of 10 meters.”
But speaking to the ambassadors who had gathered at the Foreign Ministry, Bassil extended an invitation to them to visit a site near Beirut’s airport and another at the Ahed Football Club Stadium, and see there’s nothing there.
Bassil told the foreign ambassadors that he had not been in contact with senior Hezbollah officials about Netanyahu’s claims because “the Lebanese government is not a committee aimed at refuting Israel’s claims.”
He added that he was certain that these were false claims, adding that Israel was seeking to launch a new attack on Lebanon and that his country was committed to observing international law.