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E.U. lawmakers urge the classification of entire Hezbollah as terror group

“It’s outrageous that the European Union still has not denounced Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. ... It is high time to acknowledge that Islamist inspired terrorism is not only a threat to the Middle East, but is also the top threat to Europe’s security,” said MEP Anders Vistisen.

E.U. Parliament in Brussels. Credit: Andrijko Z. via Wikimedia Commons.
E.U. Parliament in Brussels. Credit: Andrijko Z. via Wikimedia Commons.

Lawmakers at the European Union urged E.U. foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini on Thursday to classify all of Hezbollah as a terror organization.

“It’s outrageous that the European Union still has not denounced Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. … It is high time to acknowledge that Islamist inspired terrorism is not only a threat to the Middle East, but is also the top threat to Europe’s security,” said MEP Anders Vistisen, one of three co-initiators of the letter, which was signed by an additional 60 E.U. lawmakers.

The lawmakers said that distinguishing between the Lebanese terror group’s supposed “military” and “political” wings is “illogical,” and rejected even by Hezbollah itself.

Additionally, the letter outlines the serious threat Hezbollah poses to the Middle East, noting that it has amassed 120,000 rockets in violation of U.N. Security Resolution 1701 and has supported the war crimes of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The European Union currently only recognizes Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist entity, which came after a 2012 Hezbollah-sponsored terror attack on a tour bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver.

The American Jewish Committee welcomed the letter by the MEPs and urged the European Union to adopt the measure.

“The broad, cross-party support this letter has received underscores the fact that there is luckily a growing realization in Europe that Hezbollah is a monumental threat not only to Syrians, Israelis, and of course, Lebanese, but ultimately also to European security,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute.

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