Photo: Screengrab via UN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented what he claimed were aerial photos of a Hezbollah "missile depot" in the heart of Beirut during a prerecorded speech Tuesday to the UN General Assembly.

The other side: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah quickly took to the organization’s TV station to respond to Netanyahu's speech, which he said was an effort to incite the Lebanese people against Hezbollah.

  • Nasrallah said Hezbollah's press office would take reporters from the local and international media to the site Netanyahu mentioned to prove it's not a missile facility.  

The backstory: Hezbollah has been under pressure in the wake of last month's port explosion in Beirut, both because it's a major player in Lebanon's dysfunctional politics and because it partially controlled the port where ammonium nitrate had been left unsecured (the Iran-linked group is not known to bear any direct responsibility for the disaster).

What he's saying: "The next explosion could be here," Netanyahu said, using a laser pointer to highlight a site he said was tucked into a residential neighborhood and next door to a gas company. He included photos of the site itself and provided its direct coordinates.

  • Netanyahu called on the residents of the area, Jnah, to pressure Hezbollah to shut down the alleged missile facility, which is near Beirut's international airport.
  • “I say to the people of Jnah, you’ve got to act now. You’ve got to protest this. Because if this thing explodes, it’s another tragedy. ... You should tell them, tear these depots down," Netanyahu said.
  • The big picture: This is a familiar tactic from Netanyahu, who has used previous addresses to international audiences to present what he describes as damning evidence of malign behavior from Iran and its associates.

The latest: Hezbollah's media chief, Mohammed Afif, invited reporters to see the warehouse Netanyahu mentioned in his speech, which he said was owned by a private Lebanese citizen.

  • The reporters posted pictures and videos showing an industrial workshop with welding machinery. The owner told the reporters his workshop was used for cutting steel.  

Go deeper

22 hours ago - World

U.S.-Israeli delegation secretly visits Sudan

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A joint U.S.-Israeli delegation traveled secretly on Wednesday to Sudan for talks on a possible announcement on "ending the state of belligerence" between the countries that could be released in the next few days, sources briefed on the trip told me.

The big picture: President Trump announced earlier this week he is ready to remove Sudan from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list once Sudan pays $335 million in compensation to American terror victims.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.