The UK’s Conservative Government is set to announce a ban on the political arm of Hezbollah, banning the Lebanese terror group in its entirety, according to a report by The Jewish Chronicle.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is set to make the announcement at next week’s Tory Party conference in Birmingham, as revealed by the London-based Jewish weekly newspaper.
Mr Javid, described by the newspaper as a “staunch ally” of the Jewish community, is said to have received support for the move by foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has described the terror group as “outrageous” and “disgusting”.
In 2008, the UK banned the military wing after the Lebanese guerillas targeted British soldiers in Iraq, but the political wing was not proscribed – despite the terror organisation itself rejecting that there is a distinction.
The resulting freedom to support the political wing of Hezbollah has allowed Islamists to fly the flag of Hezbollah — a yellow flag with a green logo comprised of Arabic writing out of which stretches a hand grasping a rifle — at the annual anti-Israel al-Quds march in London, under the pretence of supporting the non-militant faction of the group.
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International al-Quds day was inspired by the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and is held on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at which activists call for the State of Israel to be destroyed.
Hezbollah is already banned in its entirety in the USA, Israel, Canada, France, and the Arab League which includes Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the home of Hezbollah, Lebanon.
In recent years, Britons have petitioned the government to call for the Lebanese Shia group to be banned, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan showing initial resistance to writing to then Home Secretary Amber Rudd to petition the Government to ban the terror group, saying he needed to consider whether that was “right thing to do” — before later writing to Ms Rudd and then chastising her for failing to ban it in time for the 2018 march.
Indications were made in June that Mr Javid was planning to ban the political wing, with a source telling The JC at the time that “Sajid has vowed to take decisive action on the matter.”
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“Sajid is a very different beast to the Home Secretary he has just replaced.
“Amber Rudd spoke repeatedly about taking action over Hezbollah – but for whatever reason was not able to get around to doing anything,” they added.
In contrast, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn — who once referred to Hezbollah as “friends” and has been accused of anti-Semitism — has vowed at this week’s party conference that should Labour win at the next general election, his government would immediately recognise the Palestinian state.