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article imageEU officially designates Hezbollah a terrorist organization

By Paul Iddon     Jul 22, 2013 in Politics
The European Union has finally put the military wing of the Hezbollah group in Lebanon on its list of organizations it deems to be terrorist ones. Hezbollah has in turn proclaimed this move to be aggressive and unjust.
Daily Star Lebanon points out in its report that many analysts are skeptical about the effectiveness of labeling the group a terrorist organization (something which the Lebanese government has asked the EU not to do during the decision making process) arguing that it is impossible to differentiate the military and political wings of the Hezbollah organization.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman was quoted in a statement released by his office saying that Hezbollah represents a "main component of Lebanese society."
The Times of Israel quotes Walid Sukariyeh who is a pro-Hezbollah legislator in their report saying of the EU move that,
"Europe tried to have an independent stance away from America's diction but I believe by this stance it has abandoned its independence and the independence of its policy. Hezbollah did not carry out any terrorist attacks, neither in Europe nor outside Europe. Hezbollah is a resistance movement that fought to liberate occupied land from the Israeli enemy."
His claims run contrary to claims that implicated Hezbollah in a bus bombing in Belarus which targeted Israeli tourists vacationing there.
The news agency quotes William Hague saying that, "In reaching the agreement, the EU has sent a clear message that it stands united against terrorism."
He went on to say that, "We will have to distinguish as best we can [between the military and political wings of the group]," before granting that Hezbollah does have a political role in Lebanon. But at the end of the day the violence it perpetrates "is unacceptable."
Reuters reports that the armed wing of Hezbollah which the EU dubbed to be a terrorist group has said that, "Hezbollah firmly rejects the EU decision . . . and sees it as an aggressive and unjust decision that has no justification and is not based on any proof."
Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station echoed these sentiments when it claimed that the EU has "surrendered to the wishes of Israel."
The blacklisting in question now enables the European Union to freeze any assets within the 27-EU member states they deem belongs to or has connections to the Lebanese organization.
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