The cold war between Israel and Hezbollah continued on Wednesday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking another diplomatic victory against the group by urging France to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. “It’s very important that France and the rest of Europe do exactly what Argentina did recently, and that is to declare Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It’s the major terrorist organization in the Middle East and in the world, and it’s operating terrorists on European soil,” Netanyahu told a delegation of visiting senior French parliament members, in comments also released by his office.
“So the most important thing is to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and I think that should be done immediately.” His comments follow a recent back-and-forth of threats and warnings between Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Netanyahu.
A report on Tuesday from the media outlet Clarin said that Argentina was creating a registry of terrorist organizations that had committed terror attacks inside the country. Included among those is Hezbollah, which bombed the Israeli Embassy to Argentina in 1992 and the Jewish AMIA center in 1994. The report said the registry would complement the list of terror groups published by the United Nations, which does not include Hezbollah.
The move marks the latest diplomatic blow against the Lebanese group. The United States has long designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization and the UK recently named all of Hezbollah—including its political wing—a terror group. The US even recently sanctioned three senior political and security officials in Hezbollah, further emphasizing the lack of distinction between the “military wing” and “political wing” of the terror group.
“As these designations demonstrate, any distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings is artificial—a fact Hezbollah itself acknowledges,” said a State Department press release on July 9. “We call on our allies and partners to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 17, 2019)