Daily Israel Report

Gulf States to Consider Measures Against Hizbullah

Gulf States will consider taking measures against Hizbullah if it continues its involvement in Syria’s civil war.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/3/2013, 3:42 AM

Hizbullah supporter
Hizbullah supporter
Flash 90

Arab Gulf States will consider taking measures against Hizbullah if the Shiite terror group continues its involvement in Syria’s civil war or interferes in Gulf Arab affairs, the head of their six-member bloc said on Sunday, according to Al Arabiya.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had “decided to look into taking measures against Hizbullah’s interests in the member states,” GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani told reporters at the end of a ministerial meeting in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

Zayani gave no other details on the nature of the measures or the interests to which he was referring.

Bahrain Foreign Minister Ghanem al-Buainain said the six-member GCC regarded Hizbullah’s involvement in Syria as “sectarian intervention,” but had not discussed listing the group as a terrorist organization.

In April, Bahrain became the first Arab country to blacklist Hizbullah as a terrorist organization and last week it banned opposition groups from having contact with the organization.

Hizbullah “is a terrorist organization and this is how Gulf States see it,” Buainain said, according to Al Arabiya.

However, placing the group on the GCC’s terror list was “a technical and legal matter that needs to be further studied,” he added.

At the opening of the meeting, Buainain had called for “a serious stance and united action to end the attacks on the interests of the Syrian people and giving them the right to choose their political regime.”

“We see this today as a clear and flagrant Iranian interference, alongside its ally Hizbullah, in the Syrian crisis using all sorts of weapons and turning Syria into a battle zone that has left thousands of Syrians dead,” he said.

Violence in Syria has killed more than 94,000 people since a brutal crackdown transformed democracy protests that erupted in March 2011 into an armed conflict.

Initially Hizbullah said it wanted only to defend 13 Syrian villages along the border where Lebanese Shiites live, and the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine near Damascus, which is revered by Shiites around the world.

However, its terrorists later encircled the town of Qusayr with regime troops, before the launch of a withering assault on the strategic border town that is home to 25,000 people.

At least 75 Hizbullah members have already been killed fighting alongside Assad’s soldiers, and Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah vowed last week to continue the group’s support for Assad.