Israel denied involvement in a massive explosion that flattened large sections of the Lebanese capital.
By Ebin Sandler, World Israel News
Following an explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, an Israeli government official denied that the Jewish state was involved in any way in the incident.
The official communicated that Israel “had nothing to do” with the explosion, which killed upwards of 25 people and injured over 2,500, reported The Associated Press. According to Lebanese officials, possible causes of the explosion included confiscated explosive material at the Beirut port, with local media referring to the substance as sodium nitrate.
Other local stations implicated a fireworks facility in causing the explosions.
The Israeli official spoke on condition of anonymity “because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media,” the AP reported.
Israel’s general policy is to neither confirm nor deny strikes on positions located in the territory of hostile neighbors Syria and Lebanon.
The IDF is believed to have carried out scores of strikes within those countries during the past several months, and Israel announced on Monday that it launched strikes in Syria following an attempted attack by the Hezbollah terror group on Israel’s border in the Golan Heights.
The IDF eliminated the four terrorists involved in that incident, who attempted to place explosives along the border.
That episode followed on the heels of an Israeli airstrike that killed a Hezbollah fighter in Syria. Hezbollah vowed to take revenge for that strike, and explosives were fired from within Syria.
Last week, Israel stopped another infiltration attempt by Hezbollah terrorists trying to enter Israel from Lebanon.
Hezbollah receives massive amounts of aid from Iran, and both entities routinely express their intention to destroy the Jewish state. Israel has also long warned that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
Hours before the explosion in Beirut on Tuesday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited an IDF base and commented on the recent flare-ups with Hezbollah.
“We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this,” Netanyahu said.
Since 2017, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria, where Hezbollah operates and Iran maintains a significant military presence. Israel has made it clear that Iranian entrenchment near its border crosses a red line it will not tolerate.