BEIRUT — The circumstances of an explosion that ripped through a building in the UNIFIL-controlled South Lebanon township of Teyrfilsay on Oct. 12 are still unknown. One theory is that it was caused by an electrical short circuit in a bomb from the 2006 war that the building’s owner had found and intended to dismantle in his home. Reports are that the owner, Hezbollah member Naser Aissa, was seriously injured in the blast.
The Lebanese army denied press reports that five people had died, among them “a senior Hezbollah official and his son.” A brief army statement said that “a bomb exploded in a house in the township of Teyrfilsah in the district of Tyre, injuring one person.”
UNEP official Michael Williams expressed the U.N. Secretary General’s “concern at reports of the explosion.” After meeting with Prime Minister-elect Saad al-Hariri, Williams said, “We are following this situation closely, because it concerns U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.”
The day after the Teyrfilsah blast, Israel broadcast footage taken by an unmanned aircraft, showing a small lorry transporting missiles to the site of the incident, some as many as four metres long. Hezbollah denied the allegation, claiming that the items taken to the garage of the house included furniture and a metal tractor door. It asked the international forces to investigate the film broadcast by Israel.
Israel then lodged a formal complaint with Lebanon over what it called “serious breaches of Resolution 1701,” charging that Syria is continuing to smuggle missiles from Iran to Hezbollah.
Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gabriella Shalif accused Hezbollah members of threatening UNIFIL forces and preventing the organisation from exercising its powers. “The Teyrfilsah explosion confirms the ongoing danger in South Lebanon,” she said.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Saloukh refuted Israeli claims with an army report and international forces investigation of the event. The Ministry also gave notice that it was lodging a corresponding complaint against Israel for breach of Lebanese airspace, in defiance of Resolution 1701.