BEIRUT, (Reuters) – The Lebanese Shi’ite guerrilla group Hezbollah released footage which it said showed a garage door being transported after a blast earlier this week, disputing an Israeli military claim that it could be a rocket.
The Lebanese army and Hezbollah said one person was wounded when a shell exploded in a house in the southern village of Tayr Filsi. Hezbollah said the incident occurred in the garage of one of its members.
Israel has said the blast at a Hezbollah house showed munitions were being stockpiled in violation of a truce that ended a war between the enemies in 2006 and has complained to the United Nations about the incident.
The Israeli military released video footage on Tuesday it said was taken from an unmanned surveillance drone overlooking the scene shortly after the explosion. The footage was taken by an infra-red camera in black and white.
It showed frantic activity by dozens of people around the site with people loading at least one long object on a truck. The army then said two truckloads of munitions, including rockets were taken to another hiding place in a nearby village.
U.N. peacekeepers based in the south (UNIFIL), charged with overseeing a truce between Israel and Hezbollah, and the Lebanese army are investigating the incident.
A truck parked inside the garage had been impounded by the Lebanese army which was inspecting it in conjunction with UNIFIL, UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said. “We must await the findings of the investigation before we can make any final assessment and conclusion,” she said.
Footage released by Hezbollah’s al-Manar television on Wednesday night showed UNIFIL peacekeepers watching as workers loaded a metal door onto a truck in daylight. Al Manar said the footage was taken in the nearby village of Deir Qanoun al-Nahr which it said was the location shown in the Israeli footage. “Here are soldiers from UNIFIL and the Lebanese army. The place is empty except for the same truck and the alleged rocket. The surprise is that it is merely an iron garage door of the shop where the explosion occurred,” a voice-over says during al-Manar’s footage.
Israel and the United States accused Hezbollah of violating a U.N. weapons embargo in southern Lebanon after a weapons cache exploded in the Khirbet Selim village in July.
The U.N. said there were signs the stockpile belonged to Hezbollah and added that the presence of these arms was a violation of Security Council resolution 1701 that ended a 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.