Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed news of the European Union’s decision to add the Lebanese radical movement Hezbollah’s military wing to its list of terror organizations.
Peres sent a letter Monday to European Union governments following the announcement that the bloc of 28 countries would add the terror group to the list.
Calling the move “a significant and necessary step towards putting an end to the spread of terror across the globe,” Peres told the EU leaders their decision “sends a clear message to terror organizations, and the countries which harbor them, that their murderous actions will not be tolerated.”
“The devastating effects of terror are not restricted to the Middle East. As we witnessed in the horrific attack in Bulgaria, Hezbollah strikes all over the world, including within Europe, indiscriminately targeting innocent civilians,” Peres said.
In March, Peres lobbied the EU to include Hezbollah on its blacklist during a special speech he delivered to the European Parliament. According to the Jerusalem Post, the president also brought up the issue in meetings with various heads of state, including those from France, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Italy.
Netanyahu also released a statement thanking the EU for the move.
“I welcome the fact that the EU has also declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and I thank the leaders of its member states,” he said.
“In recent years, the State of Israel has invested great effort in explaining to all EU member states that Hezbollah is the terrorist arm of the Iranian regime and perpetrates attacks around the world. For years, the organization has carried out attacks against innocent civilians across the globe.”
Netanyahu expressed his hope that the EU would soon blacklist the whole of Hezbollah, and not just it’s military wing, while saying he hopes the initial ban “will lead to tangible steps against the organization.”