The European Union moved Tuesday closer to adding the military wing of Hezbollah to its list of international terrorist groups, EU diplomats told AFP. The group is already on the blacklist in several countries, including EU member Britain:
- ISRAEL: In June 1989 the Israeli government decreed that Hezbollah was a terrorist organisation.
A fierce opponent of Israel, Hezbollah, “The Party of God,” formed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, seeks the “liberation” of all occupied Arab lands, including Jerusalem.
It headed the guerrilla war that was instrumental in forcing Israel’s May 2000 troop pullout from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
- THE UNITED STATES: Hezbollah has been on a U.S. terror blacklist since October 1997 after a series of anti-American attacks, including the bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in the 1980s.
“As of today it is a crime to provide funds, weapons or other types of tangible support to any of the designated organisations,” U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said at the time when announcing the list.
- CANADA: In December 2002 the Canadian government announced it was adding the whole of Hezbollah to its terrorism blacklist. Up to then only the armed wing had been blacklisted by the government. Membership in or support of Hezbollah could lead to up to 10 years imprisonment.
- AUSTRALIA: Canberra listed Hezbollah’s branch charged with “external security” as a terrorist group in 2003.
- BRITAIN: In July 2008 Britain moved to ban the entire military wing of Hezbollah.
The Interior Ministry said it took the action because Hezbollah’s military branch was supporting militants in Iraq and Palestinian terror groups.
London had already in 2001 banned the External Security Organization, which it considers the fundamentalist group’s “terrorist wing.”
- THE NETHERLANDS: Aside from Britain, the Netherlands is the only EU member state to consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization. It has been pressing since 2004 for it to be placed on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations in a bid to dry up its financing from Europe.