After lots of badgering from Congress to recognize Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization, the European Union finally did so today at a meeting of foreign ministers.
“Today’s designation is an important step recognizing the grave threat Hezbollah poses to our mutual security. This was a long time coming,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). “This designation strengthens Trans-Atlantic counterterrorism cooperation to target Hezbollah’s ability to raise funds to support its terrorist operations.”
Royce noted “a business or charity supporting Hezbollah is as culpable for attacks against innocent civilians as the terrorist group itself.”
“I will continue working to ensure that the entire Hezbollah operation is designated not only by the European Union, but by all responsible nations,” the chairman added.
The attack that seems to have shifted minds in the EU was the bombing of a tourist bus last year in Bulgaria. Still, there was much debate over the blacklisting in the EU, with concerns that it could harm relations with Lebanon.
“The European Union deserves praise for this action and their strong condemnation of Hezbollah,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “While I believe that the entire Hezbollah organization unabashedly qualifies for a place on the European Union list of terrorist organizations, today’s decision will send a clear message to Hezbollah, and to their primary backer Iran, that Europe is not a safe haven for terrorists.”
“The Bulgarian government has identified Hezbollah as the culprit behind the terrorist attack that killed innocent vacationing Israelis in that country last year, and Cypriot courts have found a Hezbollah operative responsible for masterminding failed terrorist attacks intended to cause mayhem and devastation on the island,” Menendez said. “Hezbollah’s military actions in Syria have further cemented Hezbollah’s terrorist affiliation and I welcome the unity of purpose with which the U.S. and the EU are approaching this issue.”
“Hezbollah strongly denied any responsibility for Burgas attack, but the US and the Zionist lobbies insist to blame the Lebanese party of Resistance which liberated most of the occupied Lebanese land in 2000 and defeated the Zionist killing machine in the July war 2006 the Zionist entity launched on Lebanon,” Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV reported in response to the listing.