UK’s ambassador to Lebanon said Europe does not view Hezbollah ‘resistance’ to Israel as terrorism.
Israel filed a strong protest with the British government after the UK ambassador in Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, stated that the inclusion of Hezbollah’s military wing on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations had nothing to do with Hezbollah’s “resistance” against Israel.
Flether made his remarks in an interview with Al-Monitor in Lebanon following the EU’s decision last month to finally include the military wing of Hezbollah in its list of terror organizations, a step most Arab states had taken long ago.
According to Fletcher: “The [EU] decision is not intended to harm the resistance, as clarified by [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah.” The term “resistance” is a typical regional code word for terrorist activity against Israel.
Jerusalem was outraged by the remarks, which it said had granted legitimacy to Hezbollah’s past and future attacks targeting Israeli civilians.
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub met with senior British government officials to personally deliver Israel’s statement of protest. However, the British unceremoniously rejected the Israeli protest, insisting that “Fletcher is a very experienced ambassador, and there was no support for resistance operations against Israel in his remarks.”
In Jerusalem, the British response was viewed as totally unacceptable.
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