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Daily Israel Report

Peres: 'Lebanon Must Decide Whether It Wants Peace or Fire'

Israeli President Shimon Peres added his voice to the renewed calls for the European Union to designate Hizbullah a terror organization.
By Arutz Sheva staff
First Publish: 2/21/2013, 6:34 PM

Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday added his voice to the renewed calls for the European Union to designate Hizbullah a terror organization.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria announced that Hizbullah was responsible for the July bombing in Burgas, which killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver, bringing fresh calls for Hizbullah to be added to the EU terror blacklist.

"It has been proved that Hizbullah carried out the terror attack in Bulgaria, on European soil, and killed innocent civilians," Peres said.

"Today there is further evidence of the activities of the organization and its Iranian dispatchers around the world, including in Cyprus and Nigeria," he added.

Peres was referring to an ongoing trial in Cyprus of a Lebanese man who has reportedly admitted belonging to Hizbullah, and who is suspected of planning attacks on Israeli targets.

He was also alluding to Nigeria's announcement late on Wednesday that it had arrested of three men who were allegedly spying for Iran and gathering information on potential Israeli and American targets in Lagos.

"It is time that all countries of the world -- especially the European Union -- put Hizbullah on the list or terror organizations," Peres said.

Washington has asked also Brussels to blacklist Hizbullah but such a move would have to be agreed on by all 27 member states.

"In Lebanon, (Hizbullah leader Hassan) Nasrallah, under the cloak of religion, is pushing his country toward a bloody war even though its has no enemy," he said, referring to rebel claims that Hizbullah, operating from Lebanese territory, had shelled Syrian villages.

"Lebanon must decide what it wants -- peace or fire," he said.

On Wednesday, Minister of Home Front 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.