The EU should ban Islamist political party and militant group Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, members of the European Parliament, national European parliaments and the U.S. Congress and Senate said in a declaration Friday.
The statement, sent to the EU institutions’ presidents — Ursula von der Leyen of the Commission, Charles Michel of the Council and David Sassoli of the Parliament — as well as the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, denounced the group as “the Iranian regime’s most deadly proxy,” saying its “violent and anti-Semitic ideology is poisoning the fabric of our pluralistic societies.”
Signed by 236 lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic, the declaration said the EU’s ban on Hezbollah’s so-called military wing following a 2012 suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed six people was not enough, and the distinction between the political and military arms is “false.”
The lawmakers pointed to Hezbollah’s collaboration with the Assad regime in Syria, adding the group was “armed to its teeth,” and in breach of a U.N. Security Council resolution. They also said the group “trains and supplies weapons to Shiite militias in Yemen and Iraq.”
In particular, Hezbollah poses a serious threat to Israel, the signatories said, as the group is hiding “some 150,000 missiles targeting Israeli civilians.”
The declaration was released on the eve of the twin anniversary of Hezbollah’s 2012 Bulgarian bus attack, which killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver at the Black Sea city of Burgas, and the 1994 bombing at the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
Among the signatories are cross-party members of the European Parliament including Monika Hohlmeier, Nicola Beer, Petras Auštrevičius, Daniel Caspary, Lukas Mandl and Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, the Bundestag’s Stephan Albani, Cem Özdemir and Benjamin Strasser, and U.S. senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
In April, Germany announced a total ban on Hezbollah.