Bipartisan US lawmakers urge EU to fully label Hezbollah a terror group

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A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a resolution on Monday to urge the European Union “to fully designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization.”

According to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism, the EU currently includes only Hezbollah’s military wing – and not its political wing – on its list of sanctioned terrorist organizations.

“The United States makes no distinction between its branches and includes Hezbollah in its entirety on the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list,” Deutch said in a statement.

The resolution was introduced by Deutch, Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Kathy Manning (NC-06), and Peter Meijer (MI-03). Six additional members from both parties joined to support the resolution: Rep. French Hill (AR-02), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Ann Wagner (MO-02), and Joe Wilson (SC-02).

“When you are dealing with a ruthless terrorist organization like Hezbollah, there is no distinction between political and militant wings,” Deutch said in a statement.

“I’m pleased that many European countries took action to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, as the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council have also done. But we need the European Union to cease allowing Hezbollah’s so-called political wing to freely operate by joining us in fully targeting this terrorist group and its global criminal network.”

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) welcomed the resolution. “AJC has long advocated for governments to label the Lebanon-based Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and for applying sanctions against it,” AJC’s statement reads. David Harris, the organization’s CEO, said: “We encourage swift passage of this important bipartisan resolution pressing the EU to do the right thing and correct the fiction of a bifurcated Hezbollah it endorsed nearly a decade ago.”

“Mistakenly believing it can tame Hezbollah’s behavior, a proposition unsupported by evidence, the EU has created ‘military’ and ‘political’ wings within Hezbollah, when, in reality, it is a single, unified terrorist entity,” Harris added.

Julie Rayman, Senior Director of Policy and Political Affairs, American Jewish Committee said that the Hezbollah threat “extends beyond the Middle East. The Iran sponsored group has established a terrorist infrastructure across Europe.”

“The EU’s labeling of the “military wing” as a terror group was an incomplete action. Hezbollah does not have separate military and political arms. It’s one organization,” she said. “Congress’s voice in urging the EU to designate Hezbollah in its entirety a terror organization is incredibly powerful.”

Source » jpost

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