The American Jewish Committee has praised the Netherlands for its efforts to convince the 27-member European Union to add Hezbollah to the Brussels-based group’s terrorism list. The Netherlands first declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2004.
The new push comes following Bulgaria’s Feb. 5 report that found Hezbollah responsible for the deadly terror attack at Burgas last July. “This is the first time that an EU member state has established that Hezbollah is guilty of a terrorist attack on EU territory,” Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Monday. “Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.”
“Bravo to Holland for its moral clarity and political courage,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Hezbollah, backed by Iran, will continue its terrorist mission, including fundraising, recruitment and planning, in Europe, as it has done in the Middle East and South America, unless clear, concrete action is taken. Why is the EU dithering?”
Adding the group to the EU terrorism list would strengthen the ability of member countries to pursue Hezbollah operations in Europe and those European institutions used for transmitting funds.
In addition to Bulgaria’s investigation, the trial in Cyprus of a captured Hezbollah operative has revealed startling details about the tactics of the terrorist organization’s efforts in Europe. In testimony eerily similar to what happened in Burgas, the operative described how he tracked incoming flights from Israel.
“EU hesitation on Hezbollah is simply inexcusable, especially after Burgas and Cyprus, but, in reality, following a much longer record of terrorist attacks against EU interests around the world,” said Harris. “EU ministers should now take the steps so clearly overdue, and so much needed, against Hezbollah.”