Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Israel accuses Iran of building airport in southern Lebanon to launch attacks against Israelis.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel accused Iran on Monday of building an airport in southern Lebanon to be used as a launchpad for attacks against Israelis across the border, signaling a possible escalation in tensions between the regional foes.

Speaking at a high-profile security conference hosted by Reichman University near Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed Iran has been building a runway that slices through forested mountains just 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Israel’s northern border. Gallant displayed satellite photographs that he said showed the site, where the Iranian national flag and the flag of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group could be seen.

Gallant alleged that Iran “is planning to act against the citizens of Israel,” using the runway as a base. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Hezbollah declined to comment on Israeli accusations. The defense minister did not specify when the satellite photos were taken.

The location he gave was near the hilly Lebanese city of Jezzin, across the border from the Israeli town of Metulla. Hezbollah earlier this year invited journalists to watch a military exercise in a nearby town in southern Lebanon. …