EU rejects declaring Hezbollah a ‘terrorist organization’

EU sources report that if Hezbollah’s involvement in last July’s terrorist attack in Bulgaria is proven, the most the EU will do is consider implementing pinpoint sanctions against it, but the European Union will not call Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

By Dan Lavie, Daniel Siryoti & Israel Hayom Staff

 

If the required proof implicating Hezbollah in the terrorist attack in Bulgaria last July is provided, then the EU would lean toward implementing pinpoint sanctions against elements involved in the attack, but would refrain from formally declaring Hezbollah a “terrorist organization,” European Union sources said on Sunday.

The scene of the terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, last July. – Photo: AP

According to Israel Radio, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said Saturday that the Council of European Foreign Ministers could discuss the possibility of measures against Hezbollah following the recent report from Bulgaria that pinned responsibility for the attack on Hezbollah.

Lalliot also said, however, that Bulgaria had thus far failed to present tangible evidence of Hezbollah involvement, despite clearly fingering the group as culprits.

EU foreign ministers will meet on Feb. 18 for a regular gathering, and may discuss the issue.

The U.S. already lists the group as a terrorist organization and U.S. and Israeli authorities want to see the EU take a similar position.

If such proof is provided, according to Lalliot, it would be possible to discuss, among other measures, the option of adding Hezbollah to the list of terrorist organizations. Lalliot said that the matter was complex and largely dependent on evidence the Bulgarians are able to present.

Canada, meanwhile, was pushing EU countries to add Hezbollah to the terror list. A Canadian government official said evidence of Hezbollah involvement in terrorism across the globe, with Iranian support, was abundant.

Following the publication of the Bulgarian report, which said a Canadian citizen was involved, Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said last week that he was considering revoking citizenship for Canadians convicted of terrorist activity.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday that he would not comment on the Bulgarian report blaming his group for the attack that killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian national, saying only that the “issue is being followed calmly and closely.”

View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=7413

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