Dichter: EU's Hizbullah Terror List Hesitation 'Almost a Joke'
Home Front Commander Avi Dichter denounced Europe's hesitation in putting Hizbullah on its terror list, saying debate on the issue as "almost a joke."
"Asking if Hizbullah is a terror organization is like asking if Paris belongs to France," he told reporters late Tuesday during a visit to France.
"Who is sleeping?" he said. "Are we Israelis sleeping or are countries in Europe sleeping? There's no debate."
"To speak about Hassan Nasrallah as someone who is only political is ridiculous," Dichter added.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor further reiterated calls for the designation at the UN Security Council last Tuesday saying, “Make no mistake: Hizbullah’s sole purpose is to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East.”
“Calling Hizbullah a charity is like calling al- Qaeda an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings,” Proser said. “This was the deadliest attack on European soil since 2005.”
“The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hizbullah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must send a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”
The renewed calls for the EU to designate Hizbullah a terror organization come following Bulgaria's announcement implicating Hizbullah in the attack in Burgas last July, which resulted in the death of five Israeli tourists and the native bus driver.
Following the report’s publication, the White House issued a statement commending the Burgas conclusions for exposing Hezbollah as “a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world.”
It further called on the EU “to take proactive action to uncover Hizballah’s infrastructure and disrupt the group’s financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks”.
Shortly after the Burgas bombing, the EU decided to not to list Hizbullah as a terror group.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Gujarat Cossack-Marcolis said at the time that, "there is no consensus on the issue, because Hizbullah also has an active political arm."
She added that the matter is open for reconsideration if "tangible evidence" that Hizbullah is involved in terrorist activity can be brought.