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EU’s position on Hezbollah ‘has not changed’, EU spokesperson tells EJP

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While several European countries like Britain and The Netherlands, and now Germany, have banned Hezbolla entirely, other member states still defend Hezbollah’s legitimacy due to its political role in Lebanon. An artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s “political wing” and “military wing” that even the group itself does not recognize.

An EU spokesperson stated that the European Union’s position on Hezbollah ‘’has not changed’’ after being asked if the EU would follow the example of Germany and designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organisation and ban it on European soil.   

Last Week, Germany announced its decision to ban all of Hezbollah’s activities in the country as anti-terror police launched raids in several citiers against institutions and individuals associated by the group.

“We take note of the decision of the German Ministry of Interior on Hezbollah, which is a domestic public law decision in Germany. The EU position has not changed. In July 2013, the EU 28 Member States agreed unanimously to designate the military wing of Hezbollah under the EU sanctions regime to combat terrorism (Common Position 2001/931),’’ Peter Stano, EU spokesperson for foreign affairs told European Jewish Press. ‘’They underlined that this decision does not prevent the continuation of dialogue with all political parties and does not affect the delivery of financial aid from the EU and its Member States. The EU remains committed to Lebanon’s stability.“

While several European countries like Britain and The Netherlands, and now Germany, have banned Hezbolla entirely, other member states still defend Hezbollah’s legitimacy due to its political role in Lebanon. An artificial distinction between Hezbollah’s “political wing” and “military wing” that even the group itself does not recognize.

In establishing this distinction, the EU intends to preserve an open channel with Hezbollah and its representatives in the Lebanese government.

Austrian Member of the European Parliament Lukas Mandl, from the European People’s Party, said:  tat ‘’ 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,“ he added.

Mandl has joined more than 50 lawmakers from the European Parliament, national parliaments in Europe, the US Congress and the Canadese parliament, who signed a declaration calling for a total EU ban of Hezbollah.

‘’The designation of Hezbollah of a terror group in its entirety would not deprive Brussels of its open channel to the Lebanese government. The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and others each recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and each maintains a robust relationship with Lebanon. In fact, Lebanon receives more foreign assistance from the U.S. than from any other country in the world,’’ noted Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) established Hezbollah in 1982 to export Iranian terror around the world.  In 1983, at the Iranian regime’s direction, Hezbollah carried out suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut (killing 63 people, including 17 Americans), and the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut (killing 241 American marines and other U.S. service personnel).  Hezbollah suicide attacks from 1982-1986  murdered 659 people .

Iran/Hezbollah also provided explosives, planning and training for the deadly terrorist bombings of Khobar Towers in 1996 (19 Americans killed and hundreds wounded) as well as the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 which killed over 200 people. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York also  concluded  that Iran and Hezbollah played key roles in planning 9-11 and training the 9-11.  In January 2020, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah called for all of Iran’s allies to exact “ revenge ” on the United States.

Hezbollah has carried out numerous terror and rocket  attacks against Israelis and Jews, including bombing the  Israeli Embassy  in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992 (19 people killed), the bombing in  Buenos Aires  of the AMIA Jewish Community Center  in 1994 (85 people killed and hundreds injured), firing 4,000 rockets into Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war, planting  explosives  near the border that have injured Israelis and firing further missiles into Israel, including firing missiles into an Israeli farming community in September 2019.  Hezbollah continues to threaten Israel with annihilation, is expanding its  massive missile arsenal in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and is converting its huge arsenal of 150,000 rockets pointed at Israel into precision guided weapons.

Hezbollah operatives were behind the bombed of a bus with Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, that killed six people in 2012 and wounded several others

Besides Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have all designated the entire Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

 

 

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