EU move makes clear Hezbollah a 'terror' group: Israel

Hezbollah's military wing has been blacklisted.

Afp July 22, 2013
A picture taken on November 11, 2009, shows Hezbollah fighters, holding up Lebanese flags and the yellow flag of the militant Shia Muslim group, as they parade on the occasion of Martyr's Day in the southern suburbs of Beirut. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

JERUSALEM: Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni praised the European Union (EU) on Monday for its decision to blacklist Hezbollah's armed wing Lebanese Shia group as a "terrorist organisation".

"I welcome this announcement by the EU, that Hezbollah is now included in the list of terrorist organisations," said Livni.

"Finally, after years of deliberations, the claim that Hezbollah is a legitimate political party has rightfully failed. Now it is clear to the entire world that Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation", she said in a statement.

The European Union's decision came after some of its 28 foreign ministers overcame reservations in some member states that such a move would further destabilise Lebanon where the militant group plays a major role.

To do so, ministers agreed that EU political and economic links with Lebanon would be maintained.

They also highlighted the fact that it is the military wing alone that is blacklisted after Hezbollah was blamed for a deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year.

Hezbollah, which is close to Iran, is Israel's sworn enemy, and its recent intervention in Syria has dismayed Western powers which back rebels battling to oust President Bashar Al Assad.