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U.S. House Foreign Affairs Chair Urges EU to Ban Hizbullah

Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, urges the EU to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist group.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/19/2012, 10:16 AM

Hizbullah
Hizbullah
Flash 90

On the eve of al Quds day, when the Arab and Muslim worlds rallied in support of the “Palestinian cause” and the “liberation of Jerusalem,” the U.S. Chairwomen of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), wrote a letter to the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, urging the EU to designate Hizbullah as a terrorist organization.

“Reports indicate that Hizbullah was involved in the attack that killed five Israeli citizens in Bulgaria on July 18, 2012,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote. “Hizbullah has executed attacks in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America, killing hundreds of people and wounding countless others.”

Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov declined, however, to name Hizbullah and Iran as responsible for the attack. “We do not want to get involved in this long-standing conflict, as we are very vulnerable,” he said at the time.

“Hizbullah has also claimed responsibility for kidnappings of United States and Israeli citizens, as well as French, British, German and Russian diplomats. The organization clearly serves as a model for other U.S. and European designates foreign terrorist organization,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote.

“Absent EU designation of Hizbullah as a foreign terrorist organization, Hizbullah has also been able to operate, recruit, plan, train, and fundraise through Europe. The EU has designated a number of other violent Islamist groups, including Hamas, as foreign terrorist organizations, while thus far failing to designate Hizbullah,” the letter continued. “Meanwhile, Hizbullah has provided training, financing, and weapons to organization on the Europeans Union list, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. And the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has long used Hizbullah as a proxy to fund, arm, and train violent extremists responsible for the deaths of U.S. soldiers, Iraq citizens, and others.”

In late July, Cypriot foreign minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country now occupies the presidency of the 26-member EU, said there is “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hizbullah on the terrorist list of the organization.” She claimed there is “no tangible evidence of Hizbullah engaging in acts of terrorism,” The Weekly Standard reported.

In 2005, the EU parliament passed a resolution that it “considers that clear evidence exists of terrorist activities on the part of Hizbullah and that the Council should take all necessary steps to curtail them.”