Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday stressed that his group was not responsible for the blast in Beirut earlier this week.
“We have no rockets or explosives there, nor has there been in the past,” said Nasrallah in his first public speech since Tuesday’s explosion in the Beirut Port, which killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 5,000 others.
“We have nothing there: no missiles, no ammunition, no weapons, no ammonium nitrate, not even a rifle. Any claims that Hezbollah runs Beirut Port are lies," added Nasrallah, according to JPost.
Nasrallah mentioned Israel right at the start of his speech and said, “I will not talk today about the Israeli enemy, only about the disaster that befell Lebanon.”
He did say, however, “We know more about the port of Haifa than the port of Beirut. The port of Beirut is not our responsibility, whereas the port of Haifa is part of our defense strategy.”
In 2016, Nasrallah threatened to strike the ammonia storage facility which he called “Hezbollah’s nuclear bomb”.
"Hezbollah has a 'nuclear bomb' - Haifa has 15 tons of ammonia, and any Hezbollah missile attack will turn them into a nuclear bomb that would cause the deaths of tens of thousands," he declared at the time.
In his remarks on Friday, the Hezbollah leader said it is noteworthy that the Beirut blast effected people of all religious sects and that several Hezbollah operatives were killed and wounded in the disaster. Moreover, he said that many members of his organization did not know what was going on - “some thought it was an earthquake.”
While some media outlets spread rumors that Hezbollah was responsible or that it was Hezbollah weapons that caused the tragic event, those rumors were not true, claimed Nasrallah.
“This is an attempt to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah,” he said. He called the claims "unjust."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)