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Israel warns Iran over Hezbollah weapons factories in Lebanon

Israel sees Iran and Lebanese ally Hezbollah (pictured) as its greatest existential threat, a view shared by the leaders of the region's main Sunni Arab states
ANWAR AMRO (AFP/File)

Israel has been sending messages to Iran via diplomats from European countries, warning that the establishment of Hezbollah weapons factories in Lebanon will not be tolerated, Haaretz reported on Sunday.

An Israeli official told the newspaper that Israel had emphasized that Iranian support for Hezbollah must become a core issue in the world's dealings with Iran.

“The Lebanese government cannot address this issue and thus the address for dealing with it is found with other forces that have influence over the issue,” said the senior Israeli official, according to Haaretz.

On Thursday, Major General Herzl Halevi, director of Israeli Military Intelligence, told the Herzliya Conference that Hezbollah was establishing a military industry in Lebanon with Iranian support.

He confirmed a report in Kuwait's Al-Jarida newspaper which claimed that Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps had established a number of weapons factories for Hezbollah on Lebanese soil. The report, cited by Haaretz, says that the factories have the capability to produce long-range missiles, land-to-sea missiles, anti-tank weapons and drones which can carry explosives. Some of these weapons have reportedly already been tested in the Syrian civil war.

"In the past year, Iran has been working to establish an infrastructure for the production of precise weapons in both Lebanon and in Yemen," said Halevi. "We can not remain indifferent to this, and we do not."

A senior official told Haaretz that Israel has begun to ramp up diplomatic pressure on Hezbollah's military activity in Lebanon. Israeli ambassadors to UN Security Council member states sent letters of protest to their host countries regarding the militant group's presence in southern Lebanon, and Israel's UN delegation lodged a formal complaint with the Secretary-General regarding the perceived failure of UNIFIL to stop or report on Hezbollah activities.

Furthermore, Israel on Thursday accused Hezbollah of violating United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions by constructing a string of military observation points disguised as installations belonging to an environmental charity.

IDF Spokesman

Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, on Thursday sent a letter to UNSC member states detailing intelligence that the IDF collected about the installations, which it says have been set up in the name of Green Without Borders, a Hezbollah-funded environmental charity.

The IDF released photographs of the installations to coincide with Halevi's speech in which he declared that Hezbollah was using an environmental organization as a cover for its activities along the Lebanon-Israel border.

The revelations came a day after Gadi Eizenkot, the IDF chief of staff, told the Herzliya Conference on Wednesday that he thinks Hezbollah remains Israel's chief nemesis.

"I believe Hezbollah is the main first-circle threat to Israel," he said in a speech at the Israeli policy conference. "It has built capabilities based on tens of thousands of advanced rockets... these are advanced weapons, partially Iranian and partially Syrian."

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stevenl

The U.N. controlled by the SuShi, has every intention to promote a conflict btw Hezbollah & IL.

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