BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was lying about missile sites in Beirut, adding that the Israeli leader was trying to provoke the Lebanese against the group.
"A short while ago, the enemy's prime minister spoke directly in a speech at the United Nations, saying things in order to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah, as usual," said Nasrallah.
"Whoever wants to go can go now. If Hezbollah is storing missiles in this facility then there is not enough time to remove them," Nasrallah said. "We don’t store missiles at the port or near gas facilities. We know where to store missiles."
"We will allow media outlets to enter the facility so that the world knows that Netanyahu is lying," he added.
He added that Netanyahu was trying to provoke the Lebanese against Hezbollah with accusations of missile sites in Beirut.
In a video address to the United Nations General Assembly, pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic, Netanyahu warned that the arms depot in the Janah neighborhood was "where the next explosion could take place" following an Aug. 4 blast at Beirut's port, which left nearly 200 people dead.
Lebanon has been pushed to breaking point by a financial meltdown and a political vacuum following the resignation of the caretaker government over the August blast, which authorities blamed on highly explosive ammonium nitrate kept in poor storage for years.
"I say to the people of Janah, you've got to act now. You've got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it's another tragedy," Netanyahu said. "I say to the people of Lebanon, Israel means you no harm. But Iran does."
"Iran and Hezbollah have deliberately put you and your families in grave danger. And what you should make clear is that what they have done is unacceptable. You should tell them, tear these depots down," he said.
Iran's mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A photo displayed by Netanyahu during his speech, that purportedly shows the entrance to the "missile factory," was taken on the ground in Beirut, suggesting an Israeli intelligence asset provided it.