Now that the EU has decided to designate Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization, Israel will begin providing EU law enforcement officials with intelligence material so they can enforce the decision, Israeli diplomatic officials said Tuesday.
Law enforcement authorities, homeland security officials and intelligence agencies in the EU’s 28 countries will need a plethora of information to make sure that Hezbollah’s military wing does not continue to operate on the continent, the officials added.
“There is no need to have this type of engagement with the British, who were pushing this matter and are well aware of the intelligence,” the officials said. “But with countries like Germany, France and Spain, who are new at this, all types of information will have to be shared.”
While up until now the intelligence was shared with EU decision-makers so they would finally agree to blacklist Hezbollah, now the focus will be on those bodies that need to enforce the decision.
Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor commended the EU’s move, but noted it came after decades of allowing Hezbollah to operate freely on European soil.
“At long last, having realized how dangerous Hezbollah is and what it is capable of, the EU showed up late to the party to condemn the ‘Party of God,’” he quipped with signature sarcasm, playing on the English translation of the name “Hezbollah.”
He said that Hezbollah was “as sophisticated as it is interconnected,” adding that “any attempt to distinguish between Hezbollah’s military wing and political wing, while politically convenient, is entirely impractical.
“Not even Harry Houdini could pull off the illusion that there is a difference between these two groups,” he said.
“Europe took a significant step in the right direction, but it must go one step further and demonstrate its unequivocal condemnation of terror.”
Prosor, speaking at an open debate on the Middle East in the Security Council, also slammed the EU for publishing new guidelines restricting engagement with Israeli entities beyond the Green Line.
“While the United States has been working to bring the parties back to the negotiation table, the EU prefers to table harmful and divisive measures. Just as a window of opportunity opened for the resumption of talks, the EU seemed intent on slamming it shut,” he said. “Instead of setting a course towards peace, the EU is steering the Palestinians in the wrong direction.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin had a similar message for Elmar Brok, the German visiting chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Elkin said the European decision is liable to prevent a continuation of Israeli-European cooperation, and that it was unacceptable to dictate to Israel that after it paid money to participate in various European funds and programs, money coming from those funds back to Israel could not then be used by Jerusalem wherever it wishes.
During the UN debate, the Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour praised the EU move, saying it helps the peace process.
Despite US Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the two sides would soon begin direct negotiations, Mansour lashed out at Israel, accusing it of “war crimes” that include the expropriation of land, supporting extremists engaged in terror against Palestinians in the West Bank, and deporting people from their lands.
The settlements, he said, were the “main obstacle to peace” and were torpedoing efforts toward a two state solution.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/After-terrorist-designation-Israel-to-begin-giving-intel-on-Hezbollah-to-EU-enforcement-officials-320878