Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist movement on Friday condemned Britain’s decision to outlaw its political wing, describing the move as an “insult” to the Lebanese people that hurt the “feelings” of many of its local followers.
The heavily armed Shi’ite group, which is backed by Iran, said it was a “resistance movement against Israeli occupation” with no designs on violence. It described the British move as an “insult to the feelings, sympathies and will of the Lebanese people that consider Hezbollah a major political and popular force.”
“Hezbollah sees in this decision servile obedience to the U.S. administration, revealing that the British government is but a mere a follower in service of its American master,” the statement added.
Britain said on Monday it planned to ban all wings of Hezbollah due to its destabilizing influence in the Middle East, classing it as a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is already deemed a terrorist organisation by Washington.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.
Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilase the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.
Hezbollah is an illegal, anti-Semitic group, designated as a terror organization in its entirety by the Arab League, Bahrain, Canada, France, Israel, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Members of Congress in the United States have urged the E.U. to designate all branches of Hezbollah as a terror group, after several Hezbollah parliamentarians in Lebanon were caught on camera calling for terror against Israelis.
There are currently 74 international terrorist organisations proscribed under the UK Terrorism Act 2000, alongside 14 organisations connected to Northern Ireland proscribed under separate legislation.
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