Bipartisan group of lawmakers urges EU to fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group

The resolution is the latest step in a long-running pressure campaign from U.S. lawmakers

(Photo by Fadel Itani/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lebanese Hezbollah fighters are taking part in cross-border raids, part of a large-scale military exercise, in Aaramta bordering Israel on May 21, 2023 ahead of the anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

In a new resolution, a group of bipartisan lawmakers from the Senate and House is urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

The resolution, introduced on Tuesday, is the latest move in a long-running pressure campaign from lawmakers, dating back more than a decade, for the U.S.’ European allies to designate the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group as a terrorist organization. The EU has designated Hezbollah’s military wing, but not its political wing, as a terrorist group. Lawmakers have also been pressuring reluctant European allies to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — the paramilitary arm of the Iranian government — as a terrorist organization.

The resolution is sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

“It’s clear that there is no distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings when it comes to its terror activities, and it’s past time that the European Union fully designate it as a terrorist organization,” Rosen said.

“Hezbollah is a dangerous terrorist organization, and the European Union must designate it as such,” Blackburn said. “Hezbollah poses an existential threat to Israeli civilians and regional stability. Hezbollah’s entire organization, not just its military wing, is connected to terrorism, and this designation will help strip Hezbollah of the funding it uses to conduct terrorist activities.”

In a release, the lawmakers also said that Hezbollah “continues to use Europe as a launching pad for its criminal and terrorist activities.”

The reintroduction coincides with the July 18 anniversaries of the Hezbollah-linked bombings of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 and a bus of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in 2012.

Similar legislation, which garnered 60 co-sponsors in the House and 14 in the Senate, was introduced in the 117th Congress. The current legislation is also backed by the American Jewish Committee.

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