Hezbollah has amassed a larger arsenal of hidden rockets and missiles than all European NATO allies combined, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations warned on Tuesday.
During a special UN Security Council session on the Middle East, Danny Danon said that the Lebanon-based group has 120,000 rockets and missiles, and that “more missiles are hidden underground in 10,000 square kilometers than the above-ground 4 million square kilometers” of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries.
Citing the latest Israeli intelligence assessments, Danon said Hezbollah has enhanced its military capabilities over the last 10 years. When Resolution 1701, which marked the end of the Second Lebanon War, was adopted, the ambassador said, Hezbollah was in possession of 7,000 rockets. Today, many times that number are aimed at Israeli population centers.
In addition, Danon stated, vast areas of southern Lebanon have been transformed by Hezbollah into “terror outposts.”
Presenting aerial satellite imagery as proof, Danon told the Security Council that "the village of Shaqra has been turned into a Hezbollah stronghold with one out of three buildings used for terror activities, including rocket launchers and arms depots."
"Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions putting innocent civilians in great danger," he said.
All of this, Danon said, demonstrates that Hezbollah is “committing double war crimes.”
“They are attacking civilians, and using Lebanese civilians as human shields,” he said. “We demand the removal of Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon.”
The Israeli ambassador also slammed Iran for its role in supporting terrorism in the Middle East, calling the Islamic Republic as Hezbollah’s “lifeline.”
“It is clear that behind the Ayatollah’s smile campaign, Iran remains a driving force of terror in the Middle East,” Danon said.
Danon also made clear that should Hezbollah “make the same mistake” it made 10 years ago, Israel will be ready to defend its citizens in the most “forceful” way possible.