Israel welcomes British move to ban Hezbollah 'political wing'

Foreign Minister Katz praises Britain's decision to outlaw Hezbollah terror organization in its entirety, calling on UN to follow suit.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff,

Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz
Ohad Zwigenberg/Flash90

Israel's foreign minister on Monday welcomed Britain's decision to outlaw the political wing of Lebanon's Hezbollah terror organization, and called for the United Nations to follow suit.

"I would like to praise the British government on the decision to recognize the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist organization," Yisrael Katz wrote on Twitter.

"In my upcoming meeting with the UN secretary-general in New York next week I will stress that the UN institutions should take a similar resolution."

Hezbollah was established in 1982 during Lebanon's civil war and is now a major political party in the country, holding three cabinet posts.

Britain had hitherto distinguished between the military and political wings of Hezbollah, banning the military wing while permitting the political wing to remain a legal organization in the UK.

On Monday, however, the British government said it would bring a proposal before Parliament to ban the political wing of Hezbollah as well, noting that "it is no longer tenable to distinguish between the military and political wings of Hezbollah.”

The ban, if adopted as is expected, will criminalize membership in Hezbollah. Members or supporters of the terror group will be liable to 10 years in prison if convicted.

"The separation between the political and armed wings is a false and artificial separation," Israel's UN ambassador Danny Danon said in a statement.

"Both are controlled and supported by Iran, and enable the organization to continue to raise funds on European soil," he added.

Similarly, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted on Monday, "All who truly wish to combat terror must reject the fake distinction between 'military' and 'political' wings."

"Now is the time for the EU to follow suit."




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