Israel Urges EU to Blacklist Hezbollah
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Thursday has once again urged the EU to brand Hezbollah a terrorist group.
Peres has noted that the bloc's failure to do so would only encourage the organization to expand its operations.
According to Peres, Hezbollah is now intervening directly in Syria against rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad and so was spreading its reach.
"If you do not take measures against Hezbollah, then they may think that they are permitted to do what they like," Peres said after a meeting with European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso.
"I know this is not the EU's intention," he told reporters.
Barroso said that designating Lebanon's Hezbollah, as a terrorist group required careful assessment and was first and foremost a decision for member states.
Commenting on last year's terror attack in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver, Barroso declared that the EU is "extremely concerned.
A Bulgarian report stated last month that the Lebanese organization may have been responsible for last year's bus bombing in Burgas.
Bulgaria's choice of whether to name Hezbollah as standing behind the Burgas bus bombing has been seen as pivotal as to whether the bloc will officially label Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Only two EU countries currently label Hezbollah a terrorist organization—the UK and the Netherlands. The UK blacklists only the military wing of the Shiite organization.
Blacklisting the organization could allow regional authorities to clamp down on financial flows to the group and open the way for freezing assets linked to Hezbollah in Europe.
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