Tel Aviv: Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian terrorist group, has constructed 28 missile launch sites in the heart of residential areas in Lebanon’s capital Beirut. The location of the missile launch sites in the heart of the civilian areas shows that Hezbollah is using the population as human shields for protecting its missiles, an Israeli research centre alleged. The research centre has also claimed that some of the bases were ready to strike Israel. Meanwhile, in a video it released three weeks ago, Hezbollah had shown its missiles were aimed at Israel’s Tel Aviv.
Israel had previously revealed a Hezbollah missile launch site was located in capital Beirut. The missiles were stored in a tunnel according to satellite images Israel had released. However, new claims were made in the information published by the Israeli think tank, Alma Research and Education Center. The Israeli think tank report states that Hezbollah had constructed missile sites in areas which were not noticed in the past. Furthermore, the think tank told an Israeli daily that missile storehouses and launch pads were located in southern Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold.
The arsenal includes medium-range missiles as well as precision-guided missiles. The weapons are placed near residential buildings, educational institutions, hospitals, places of worship, football grounds as also right opposite the Iranian Embassy and the Lebanese Defence Ministry, Tal Beeri, head of the Research department at ALMA Center said. ‘Since the sites were located in civilian areas, Hezbollah is using the human shield tactic to safeguard its weapons. The international community needs to take cognisance of the matter,’ Berry urged in the report. The Israeli think tank has even released the satellite images of the Hezbollah missile sites.
Israel has stated that Hezbollah has more than 130,000 rockets and missiles in its arsenal, which it accuses the terrorist group of having acquired from Iran. Previously released satellite images found that Iran had built missile production factories to equip Hezbollah with precision-guided missiles near the southern Lebanese border. Moreover, Israel claims the weapons are a threat to its security and that Hezbollah would use them to destroy its main cities.
In 2006, a war had sparked between Israel and Lebanon that lasted for 36 days. Hezbollah’s fight against Israel in the conflict had taken everyone by surprise. However, Israel had warned Hezbollah that if the terrorist group initiated an attack against the nation in the future, it would make a forced entry into Lebanon and destroy Hezbollah bases. After that, Hezbollah strategized to place its terrorist and weapons bases in residential areas. The Israeli intelligence agencies had even cautioned against it. Once again, the Israeli think tank report has demonstrated that Hezbollah was trying to protect its missiles from Israeli assault by using Beirut’s population as a human shield.