Hizbullah flag
Hizbullah flagAFP photo

Lebanon's Hizbullah-run Al-Manar television accused the European Union on Monday of bowing to Israeli demands in blacklisting the group's so-called “military wing.”

"The European Union has surrendered to the wishes of Israel in adding Hizbullah to its blacklist," the 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 said, according to AFP.

It also broadcast footage of Israeli President Shimon Peres at a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton calling on the 28-nation bloc to blacklist Hizbullah.

"Britain was at the forefront of the campaign... at times citing the Burgas attack and at other times citing the arrest of a suspect in Cyprus," the television said.

Hizbullah was proven to be behind the terrorist attack on an Israeli tour bus at Bulgaria’s Burgas airport that left six people dead and 35 wounded at the Black Sea resort town last year.

Lebanon, however, demanded last week that the EU keep Hizbullah off its list of terrorist organizations. The group has a sizeable contingent in the Lebanese parliament as well as in its Cabinet, and in a letter to the EU, the government wrote “is an essential component of Lebanese society.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the European Union's decision to place Hizbullah's “military wing” on a blacklist, saying that Hizbullah was an agent of Iran that sought Israel's destruction.

The Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu), however, said that the EU had only gone “half way” by failing to blacklist Hizbullah’s political arm as well.