“As usual, the Europeans were satisfied in going only halfway, and making a partial decision that is not enough.” Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman and MK Avigdor Lieberman, expressed his reservations Monday regarding the EU's decision to add the military wing of Hezbollah to its terrorism list.
According to the decision of the EU, once the decision takes effect, citizens of the 28 EU countries will be prohibited from transferring funds to the Shiite movement, and European diplomats will not be able to meet with representatives of the organization. In addition, Hezbollah assets in the EU will be frozen.
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Lieberman, who also serves as chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, leveled harsh criticism on the decision, saying that "The military wing and the political wing of Hezbollah are two sides of the same coin. At the head of each stands Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. The attempt to present the group as if it is partially extremist and partially moderate is like asking can a cannibal be a vegetarian. Therefore it is necessary to define the entire organization as a terrorist organization and to put it in its entirety on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union.”
Lieberman also said that "it should be understood that the resolution comes after Austria had removed its objection to the move, and not because the EU was convinced that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization following the determination of the UN Special Tribunal on Hariri assassination, not because of conclusions reached by the Bulgarian security services into the murder of Israelis in Burgas, and not because the court in Cyprus recognized that Hezbollah was behind the attempt to attack Israeli tourists on the island, but because of Hezbollah operations in Syria and the threats to the Austrian power in Syria.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) said that she welcomed "the announcement on the inclusion of Hezbollah in the EU list of terrorist organizations. Finally, after years of discussions and deliberations, the attempt to argue that being a political party whitewashes their terrorist activities failed – and rightly so.”
Later, Livni said during a party meeting, "Israel's security depends on several things, one of which is our fight and that of the international community against terrorist groups. Hezbollah is one such group, which tried to hide under the banner of a political party and today the EU says that this does not whitewash their terrorist activity. This was a decision that had to be made a long time ago.”
'They shouldn’t fight those fighting terror'
Naftali Bennett, Economy Minister and Chair of Habayit Hayehudi, also welcomed the EU decision, saying at the party’s meeting in the Knesset, "It’s simple, these people are terrorists. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. This thing should have happened long ago, and in general I think it's good that the EU will focus on fighting terrorism rather than fighting those who fight terror.”
Science Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) addressed the issue on his Facebook page. "Finally, after countless attacks in Israel and around the world, kidnappings of civilians and soldiers, dead and injured, it is proper for the EU to declare the military wing of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. As someone who most of his adult life has fought against terror, including that of Hezbollah, I believe that this will be a real contribution to strengthening international cooperation in the war against all types of terrorist organizations.”
Atilla Shmolfavi contributed to this report
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