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Will the European Union follow Germany’s example and classify Hezbollah as a terrorist group?

Will the European Union follow Germany’s example and classify Hezbollah as a terrorist group?

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  • LLL-GFATF-Hezbollah Hezbollah Hezbollah is a Shi’a Islamist militant group and political party based...[+]

 Affected Countries: germany; united-states; canada; lebanon;

Fifty-five lawmakers from the European Parliament, national parliaments in Europe, the United States Congress, and the Parliament of Canada have called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, in a first-ever transatlantic and inter-parliamentary declaration, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

On Thursday (30 April), Germany announced a full ban of all Hezbollah activities on German soil, classifying the organization in its entirety as terrorist and carrying out police raids in several cities against associations and individuals linked to the Lebanese shiite group.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Haas said that Hzebollah ”denies Israel’s right to exist, threatens with violence and terror and massively upgrades its rocket arsenal.”

A statement from the German Interior Ministry said: ‘’The German security authorities use all available instruments of the rule of law to crack down on terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and take strict measures against their activities in Germany. As well as the ban which came into force today, this includes investigating sub-organizations based here in Germany.

To ensure that evidence of potential sub-organizations in Germany could not be destroyed when this ban was announced, at 6 a.m. today police authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Berlin have been conducting searches in a total of four association premises and the private residences of the leaders of each association. The associations under investigation are suspected of forming part of Hezbollah due to their financial support and propaganda for the terrorist organization.’’

The organizer of the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day rally, which is attended by Hezbollah operatives in mid-May in the center Berlin, was banned by the city’s Interior Senator.

Hezbollah (or ‘’Party of God’’) has been accused of carrying out a series of bombings against Jewish and Israeli targets. The group, which is maintaining close ties with Iran and is seen by many as an extension of the Iranian regime, is also classified a terrorist organisation by the Gulf Arab countries and the Arab League.

”It is time for the European Union to ban the entire organization and bring back peace to the oppressed people.”

But will the European Union follow the German example – but also the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – and consider Hezbollah as a terror group as a whole without making a false distinction between its ‘’political’’ and ‘’military’’ wings, as several Jewish groups, Israel and the U.S. have repeatedly asked ?

Hezbollah has been accused of carrying out a series of bombings against Jewish and Israeli targets. The group, which is maintaining close ties with Iran and is seen by many as an extension of the Iranian regime, is also classified a terrorist organisation by the Gulf Arab countries and the Arab League.

Fifty-five lawmakers from the European Parliament, national parliaments in Europe, the United States Congress, and the Parliament of Canada have called on the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, in a first-ever transatlantic and inter-parliamentary declaration.

“Following the 2012 suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people, the EU banned only Hezbollah’s so-called military wing, stopping short of confronting the terror group with the full force of its sanctions mechanism. We thus urge the EU to end this false distinction between ‘military’ and ‘political’ arms – a distinction Hezbollah itself dismisses – and ban the entire organization,” the declaration reads.

The text was initiated by the leadership of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), a cross-party inter-parliamentary group which is chaired by MEP Lukas Mandl (Renew Europe) and Vice Chairs MEPs Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP), Petras Austrevicius (Renew Europe), Carmen Avram (S&D, Romania), Dietmar Köster (S&D, Germany), and Alexandr Vondra (ECR, Czechia).

Among the U.S. signatories are Rep. Ted Deutch, who in 2017 sponsored the bipartisan bill H.Res. 359 calling on the European Union (EU) to fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, as well as Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, Chair of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, the Ranking Member of that same Committee.

Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl stated: ‘’Our European values command an uncompromising fight against antisemitism and terrorism. In this context, it is clear without any doubt that the European Union must ban Hezbollah entirely. There is no so-called ‚political arm‘ and a ‚terrorist arm‘, but one organization acting violently against the only Jewish State, including killings of civilians, many of them children. A true European Foreign Policy will establish an even stronger relationship with reliable partners in Lebanon.“

Czech MEP Aleksandr Vondra added: “Hezbollah spreads violence and terror throughout the entire region. It is time for the European Union to ban the entire organization and bring back peace to the oppressed people.”

“Hezbollah, Iran’s most deadly proxy and a global terror network, poses a serious threat to Jewish life across the world. It is high time for the EU to follow in the footsteps of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and now Germany, and end this false distinction between ‘military’ and ‘political’ arms – a distinction Hezbollah itself dismisses,” Greek MEP Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou (EPP) said.

Source: EU Reporter

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