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Report: Hezbollah uses Beirut Airport to store Iranian weapons for use against Israel

IDF: Terror group wants Israel to strike civilian areas in southern Lebanon to mobilize international pressure

A Lebanese Middle East Airlines (MEA) plane is parked on the tarmac of Beirut international airport, in Beirut, Lebanon, September 19, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Imad Creidi)

The Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah has been using the Beirut-Rafic Al Hariri International Airport for civilians to transfer and store large quantities of Iranian weapons in preparation for a war with Israel, the British Telegraph reported on Sunday.

The Iranian regime is Hezbollah’s major weapons supplier and normally uses a land corridor through Iraq and Syria to transfer equipment, with the Israeli Air Force striking the shipments where it could over the past decade.

An alternative route through Syria’s Damascus Airport was disrupted by Israel early during the current war, which possibly made the direct flight route to Lebanon more attractive in recent months.

The shipments picked up their pace since the war started, with a whistleblower telling the Telegraph that “unusually big boxes” have been arriving directly from Iran since last November.

“This doesn’t happen often, but it did happen exactly when everyone in Lebanon was talking about the possibility of war,” he added.

“For years I have been watching Hezbollah operating at Beirut airport, but when they do it during a war, it turns the airport into a target,” another whistleblower said.

“This is extremely serious, mysterious large boxes arriving on direct flights from Iran are a sign that things got worse.  When they started to come through the airport, my friends and I were scared because we knew that there was something strange going on.”

The whistleblowers who work at the airport told the British newspaper they feared that Hezbollah’s weapons stores would invite Israeli bombardments of the airport, potentially bringing about a catastrophe similar to the Beirut port explosion of 2020, caused by ammonium nitrate stored there.

“If they keep bringing in these goods I’m not allowed to check, I really believe I’ll die from the explosion or I’ll die from Israel bombing ‘the goods.’ It’s not just us, it’s the ordinary people, the people coming in and out, going on holiday. If the airport is bombed, Lebanon is finished.”

Hezbollah has been known to control the airport for a long time, with some leaders having been sanctioned by Western countries for using it for smuggling operations.

“The area all around the airport is controlled by Hezbollah, so many people are concerned about passage through the airport of Beirut which is why many Gulf countries have at times imposed bans on their citizens travelling there,” Ghassan Hasbani, a former deputy prime minister and Member of Parliament for the Christian Lebanese Forces party told the Telegraph.

“Weapons being transported from Iran to Hezbollah across border entry points or even weapon components, endangers both the Lebanese population and the non-Lebanese travelling through and living in the country.”

The whistleblowers reported that senior Hezbollah leaders openly and frequently walk around airport grounds, and that workers cooperating with the terrorists ostentatiously show their new wealth while the city continues to suffer from a years-long economic slump.

“The entrenchment of Hezbollah is everywhere, not only in the airport but in the port, the judiciary, it’s across society. The public administration now is largely hijacked by Hezbollah and it’s very difficult to remove that without changing the militia-backed power game that exists today,” Hasbani said.

A security source at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) confirmed the reports: “We have been aware of this for years, but we are unable to do anything without international legal action. We are hand-tied to do what we’d really like, which is to close the airport and have all the weapons and explosives removed.”

In the wake of the Telegraph report, Lebanese Transportation Minister Ali Hamieh quickly convened a press conference and strongly denied that weapons or ammunition were being stored there.

In addition, he lashed out at Israel, which he said “jams the satellites of the planes and violates the airspace of the airport.”

According to Alma Research Center, Hamieh is, himself, affiliated with Hezbollah and, in the past, has advanced construction projects at the airport intended to, in effect, create a parallel airport that only serves Hezbollah’s smuggling operation.

Hezbollah has infiltrated all levels of the airport’s administration and has access to its radars, cameras, warehouses and other components, according to Alma.

In response to the Telegraph’s report, the IDF stated: “Hezbollah’s strategy to hide weapons and operate from civilian neighborhoods stems from its intentions to draw the IDF to target these civilian areas in times of escalation.”

“If Hezbollah were to target Israeli civilians from these sites, the IDF would have no choice but to react, potentially placing Lebanese civilians in harm’s way, causing international outrage toward the IDF.”

Israel has issued multiple warnings stating that Hezbollah frequently uses civilian areas to store its weapons.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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