Hizbullah claims that European representatives suggested the terrorist organization carry out a “limited attack” on an Israeli target in a remote international location, in retaliation for the assassination of Hizbullah leader Imad Mughniyeh.
The allegations came to light in a July 27 article written by Hizbullah-linked columnist Jean ‘Aziz for the Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily newspaper, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
One week ago, in a compromise to avoid labeling the Lebanon-based group a terror organization, the European Union voted to place its military wing on the list of terrorist entities. The group immediately blamed Israel for the move, as well as Britain and the United States.
"The European Union has surrendered to the wishes of Israel in adding Hizbullah to its blacklist," the Hizbullah-linked Al-Manar television channel said, according to a report by the AFP news agency. It accused Britain of taking the lead in efforts to impose the sanction, which was swiftly welcomed by both Israel and the United States.
The television commentary was the first reaction to the EU move by Hizbullah. "The leaders of the enemy state (Israel) have tried for years to push Europe to take this decision and promote it with flagrant support from the Americans and the British," the television station said, according to AFP.
According to ‘Aziz, the Europeans “know there is no substance to allegations Hizbullah is involved in terrorist activity in Europe.”
The columnist writes that the real reason for the pressure by the U.S. and Gulf states to list Hizbullah among terror organizations is Hizbullah’s involvement in fighting to defend the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that nation’s civil war.
Europe had asked Hizbullah to stop its activity in Syria, or at least deflect it, ‘Aziz claims.
In the past, he adds, the Europeans attempted to end Hizbullah’s retaliation against Israel for the February 2008 death of its second-in-command, Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in a car bombing in Damascus. Israel has never acknowledged involvement in the killing.
‘Aziz claims the Europeans “intimated to Hizbullah that if the organization restricted its revenge to a limited attack on a minor Israeli representation in some remote location, this would not elicit a strong response from either Israel or the West – thus allowing all parties to lay the affair to rest.”