Hezbollah knew about ammonium nitrate at Beirut Port and planned to use it this week against Israel

Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group knew about the ammonium nitrate that caused the massive explosion at Beirut’s port and planned to use it this week against Israel.

Former Defense Minister MK Bogie Ya’alon told a Saudi newspaper Friday night that an explosion in a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah preceded the explosion in this chemical warehouse.

Ya’alon added that the terror group controls both the Beirut Port and Beirut Airport.

Hezbollah planned to use the ammonium nitrate stockpile this week in a “third Lebanon war”, according to an unsourced assessment publicized on Channel 13.

The Shi’ite terror group, which has a powerful place in Lebanon’s government, is widely believed to use the port facility for its own smuggling operations.

Earlier on Friday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah emerged from his underground bunker where he has been hiding from Israel since 2006, to “categorically” deny that Hezbollah stored any weapons in Beirut Port and said that his terror group knows more about Haifa Port than Beirut Port.

“The port of Beirut is not our responsibility, whereas the port of Haifa is part of our d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶e̶  [terrorist] strategy,” Nasrallah threatened.

The terror group chief said that “any claims that Hezbollah runs Beirut Port are lies.” He also denied that a port manager who was arrested had ties to Hezbollah.

Nasrallah’s speech came mounting fury among the Lebanese people at the negligence, corruption and mismanagement of Lebanese governments, which have included Hezbollah.

Activists have called for demonstrations Saturday to protest the government dysfunction. The slogan for the march: “They are the murderers.”

At least 10 times over the past six years, authorities from Lebanon’s customs, military, security agencies and judiciary raised the alarm that a massive stockpile of explosive chemicals was being kept with almost no safeguard at the port in the heart of Beirut.

So far, at least 16 port employees have been detained and others questioned.

The explosion killed 154 people, wounded more than 5,000 and caused wide destruction.