Australia may proscribe Hezbollah as terrorist group in its entirety
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The Australian has reported that ‘New Zealand has proscribed the group’s military wing, while Australia has listed only the wing’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist group’.
But J-Wire understands that there is no named entity as ‘military wing’ and that the External Security Organisation encompasses the popular name as ‘the military wing’.
Some of Australia’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have declared Hezbollah a terrorist group.
New Zealand joins Australia as proscribing only Hezbollah’s External Security Organisation as being a terrorist group.
“The matter of listing Hezbollah’s military wing remains under active review,” a spokesman for the Department of Affairs told The Australian.
But Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief executive Peter Wertheim said the group as a whole should be proscribed.
“By listing only Hezbollah’s External Security Organisation as a terrorist organisation, rather than Hezbollah as a whole, Australia has been endorsing a fiction,” he said.
“Hezbollah leaders themselves have openly and repeatedly declared that no substantive separation exists between its different wings.
“The organisation from its inception has glorified, promoted and carried out acts of terrorism.”
The Australian revealed on Monday that a bid to have a Sydney man declared a “high-risk terrorist offender” failed as the groups he was accused of supporting — Hezbollah and one of its allies, the Amal party — were not declared terror organisations.
This came after the Department of Home Affairs told the committee, while it was reviewing the listing, that “any broadening of the listing … would have implications, including for our bilateral relationship with Lebanon”.
The US listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group in 1997 with Canada doing likewise in 2002.