Israel wants investigation of Lebanon explosion


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel asked the United Nations to investigate an explosion at the home of a Hezbollah official in southern Lebanon.

Monday night’s explosion wounded one person, according to Lebanese security officials, but other reports say one person, perhaps a senior Hezbollah official, was killed.    

Israeli officials say the explosion at the home, suspected of being a weapons storehouse, shows that the terrorist group is stockpiling ammunition in violation of the truce that ended the second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah.

The explosion was likely accidental, according to reports. The Israel Defense Forces has said it had nothing to do with the explosion, according to reports.

In July, an explosion in an abandoned building in southern Lebanon led Israel to accuse Hezbollah of stockpiling arms illegally. Hezbollah said then that the ammunition was unexploded Israeli ordnance from the summer 2006 war.

Hezbollah has turned Lebanon into a powder keg, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Tuesday morning.

"It is Hezbollah which is endangering Lebanon, not Israel, just as it is Hamas which is endangering the Palestinian people," Peres said.

He added that there is no reason for there not to be peace between Israel and Lebanon.

"We have evacuated all of the territory and are now extending a sincere hand to the Lebanese people," Peres said. "Lebanon could have long since become the Switzerland of the Middle East. It is Hezbollah and Hamas that are preventing this economic flowering, and the peace and security of the region."

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