Foreign ministers of the European Union have reached a consensus to classify the military wing of the Lebanese based militant-political group Hezbollah as a terrorist group. This decision was arrived at on Monday after Foreign Ministers of the EU met at Brussels and moved to place Hezbollah’s military arm under the EU terror list. Hezbollah, which functions as a legitimate political party in Lebanon, as such was not banned. In a statement they condemned the EU’s “aggressive and unjust decision which is not based on any proof or evidence”, Reuters reported, the group further alleging that the US and Israel were behind this move. Hezbollah’s active support to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad is also claimed to be a factor influencing EU’s move.
“Britain and the Netherlands have long pressed their EU peers to impose sanctions on the Shi’ite Muslim group, citing evidence it was behind an attack in the coastal Bulgarian city of Burgas a year ago that killed five Israelis and their driver,” Reuters reported on Monday.
The US had designated Hezbollah as a terrorist much before. Israel had also been campaigning in the EU calling for a ban on the Hezbollah.
Though the EU had resisted a total ban on the Lebanese group, its decision to ban the military wing has been welcomed by Israeli circles.
“Now the EU has joined the growing world consensus that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” the Israel Defense Forces tweeted.
Hezbollah’s military wing now joins the LTTE, Hamas, and PKK in the list of organizations banned by the EU.