Hezbollah threatens to attack Israel’s nuclear reactor

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rare public appearance, in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon in November 2013. (File photo credit: AP/Bilal Hussein)

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rare public appearance, in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon in November 2013. (File photo credit: AP/Bilal Hussein)

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday boasted that his rockets can reach Israel’s nuclear reactor in the southern city of Dimona, and said he would turn Israel’s reported nuclear arsenal against it. A senior Israeli minister threatened Lebanese infrastructures in response.

Nasrallah, who had previously threatened to target an ammonia tank in Haifa, claimed credit for an Israeli court decision to shut down that facility this week and said he would do the same with the nuclear reactor.

“I call upon the Israeli not only to evacuate the Ammonia tank from Haifa, but also to dismantle Dimona nuclear facility,” Nasrallah said at a rally, warning that he would target Dimona too. “The Israeli nuclear weapon that represents a threat to the entire region, we will turn it into a threat to Israel,” he claimed.

In response to Nasrallah’s statement, Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz threatened in a statement to target “all of Lebanon,” including infrastructures there, in retaliation for any attack on Israeli population centers or infrastructures. He also called for “debilitating sanctions” on Iran over its support for its “proxy and stooge” Nasrallah.

International agencies believe Israel has over 100 nuclear weapons. Israel has neither confirmed or denied the existence of its nuclear arsenal, maintaining a policy of “nuclear ambiguity.”

Earlier this week, the Haifa Court for Local Affairs ordered the company that owns the ammonia storage facility in Haifa to empty the tank. The ruling came after a report published in January found that tens of thousands of local residents would be killed if the chemicals in the storage tank were to be released in the air from an accident or an event like a missile strike on the facility by Hezbollah. The company is now appealing the court ruling.

Nasrallah said that no matter what the Israelis did, they could not escape the threat Hezbollah posed.

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SOURCE: DOV LIEBER AND ALEXANDER FULBRIGHT 
The Times of Israel

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