Netanyahu: Hezbollah shut down precision-missile plants

Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Hezbollah has closed down its precision-guided missile plants near the Beirut airport. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the terror group Hezbollah has closed down its factories to develop precision-guided missiles, Reuters reports. Netanyahu made his revelation to a Globes economic conference on Wednesday.

“Those sites near the Beirut airport, the underground sites for precision conversion of missiles, which (Israeli) military intelligence gave me, to expose, those sites were closed,” Reuters quotes Netanyahu as saying at the conference.

Hezbollah did not immediately respond, according to the news site.

On Sept. 27, in a U.N. speech, Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of developing precision missiles in secret factories, three of them along Beirut’s international airport, using the civilian population of the city as human shields. The second site, he said, was underneath a soccer stadium.

Netanyahu held up a placard showing their locations, a picture he described as “worth 1,000 missiles.”

Reuters reports that Lebanon Foreign Minister and Hezbollah political ally Gebran Bassil denied Israel’s accusations at the time, accusing Netanyahu of trying to “justify another aggression” against Lebanon.

The denial appeared to contradict a threat made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Sept. 20, a week before Netanyahu’s U.N. speech, in which he threatened to attack Israel with “precision missiles.”

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Hezbollah has “accurate missiles that if used in any future war will change the entire equation,” Nasrallah said.

Netanyahu responded to that threat, saying, “I suggest that he think not twice but 20 times because if he confronts us, he will receive a crushing blow that he cannot even imagine.”

On Dec. 4, Israel launched Operation Northern Shield to root out Hezbollah’s terror tunnels, a critical part of the terror group’s plan to invade Northern Galilee with an elite force and kill and capture Israeli civilians.

The foiling of Hezbollah’s plan and the uncovering of the tunnels is considered a major blow to Hezbollah, which is estimated to have invested considerable resources in digging the tunnels that go through solid rock.

Israel has uncovered four tunnels to date. Estimates say there are as many as 10 such tunnels, but the exact number is still not known.