The Israel Defense Forces sent a tweet on Sunday reminding Lebanese runners of "probably running past precision-guided missile factories built by Hezbollah".
Beirut Marathon organization gathers more than 30,000 runners every fall including non-Lebanese and international athletes. Runners also include groups and representatives from Lebanon's civil society and private sector, who sign-up for a variety of causes and run to raise awareness on social, educational, or health issues experienced by vulnerable groups.
This year however, Israel sent a tweet as part of its online efforts to sensitize the Lebanese public opinion on the threat Hezbollah imposes on its national security, politicizing one of the region's most anticipated sports events.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hezbollah of hiding missiles and heavy weapons in Beirut, indicating three sites near Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport. In response to his accusations, Lebanon's caretaker minister of foreign affairs Gebran Bassil invited ambassadors and head of missions for a diplomatic guided site visit at the areas pointed at by Netanyahu in order to prove his statement wrong.
Lebanon and Israel hold no diplomatic relations as they remain in a state of war.