UK to Ban Hezbollah, Including Its Political Party, as Terror Organisation - Sputnik International


14:09 25.02.2019(updated 15:25 25.02.2019) Get short URL

The development comes after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid was reported 24 February to be preparing to ban the political wing of Hezbollah - a move which will prevent supporters of the group from parading its flag on UK streets.

Britain said on Monday that it will ban Hezbollah in its entirety, including its political wing, deeming it a terrorist organisation, Reuters has reported.

"Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East — and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety," Home Secretary Sajid Javid stated.    

The move will have to be approved by Parliament, raising the prospect it could be opposed by Jeremy Corbyn, who once referred to members of its political wing group as 'friends'. Still, Israel has lauded the decision, and urged the EU to do the same. 

"All who truly wish to combat terror must reject the fake distinction between 'military' & 'political' wings. Now is the time for the #EU to follow suit!" Israeli Security Minister Gilad Erdan said. 

At present, the UK and EU alike only classify Hezbollah's military wing a terrorist entity. This allows Hezbollah's political members to operate in the country, appearing at the annual al-Quds day rally in London replete with the organization's flag, which promotes the destruction of the Jewish state.

The UK banned Hezbollah's military wing in 2008 after the Lebanese militia attacked UK soldiers in Iraq, the EU in 2013 due to the group's role in blowing up an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria, resulting in deaths of five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver. An additional 32 Israelis were injured. A Bulgarian court is currently trialling in absentia the two Hezbollah operatives who participated in the attack, and Interpol has issued arrest warrants for them.

The German government has also repeatedly refused to 'fully' outlaw Hezbollah, with federal intelligence agencies believing almost 1,000 members of the group to be active in the country, raising funds and recruiting new members.