Lebanon denies Netanyahu's claim Hizballah is keeping precision missiles in Beirut

Lebanon denies Netanyahu's claim Hizballah is keeping precision missiles in Beirut
The offer to show foreign ambassadors the alleged sites housing Hizballah precision missiles comes after Israel's prime minister made the accusation at the UN.
2 min read
30 September, 2018
Gebran Bassil speaks to reporters in Ankara [Getty]

Lebanon's foreign ministry said it would take foreign ambassadors on a tour in Beirut's southern suburbs to prove Hizballah does not have precision missiles there, as claimed by Israel last week.

The public announcement, which came on Sunday, follows accusations by Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu regarding the missiles. 

The ministry's statement said they were invited on Monday for talks and a tour of the three alleged missile sites.

Netanyahu made the accusation at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday -- saying precision missiles were at Ouzai, under the Sports City Stadium and adjacent to Beirut's international airport. 

It's not immediately clear from the ministry's statement if the tour would include all three alleged sites. 

Meanwhile, Hizballah has called Netanyahu's missile claims "delusions" and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil charged Israel with using the claim to justify a future military strike. 

“Israel is once again making excuses to justify aggression, and from the highest platform of international legitimacy, it is preparing to violate the sovereignty of states,” Lebanon's FM Gebran Bassil said.

Lebanon and Israel are officially at war but military skirmishes are relatively rare.

A UN-demarcated "Blue Line" was drawn up on the border when Israeli occupation forces withdrew in 2000. 

Israel later fought a bloody war against Hizballah in 2006, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

The Lebanese army deployed to the south after the 2006 war for the first time in decades.

In recent years, Israel has also carried out around 200 air strikes in war-torn Syria against Iranian targets and what is says are advanced arm deliveries to Hizballah.

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