Yesterday, Parliament approved the Home Secretary’s plans to proscribe all non-proscribed elements of Hizballah as proscribed organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000. The military wing of Hizballah has been proscribed for many years, but the action approved by Parliament ensures that the organisation as a whole is considered a terrorist organisation.
Mike Freer MP welcomed the decision, saying “Hizballah has been committed to its armed resistance to the state of Israel, risking the security of the entire Middle East region. It is no longer possible to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party, and as such, I welcome this action taken by the Home Secretary and Parliament”.
The move has been welcomed across government, with Ministers approving of the actions taken:
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.
Hizballah is continuing in its attempts to destabilase the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“We are staunch supporters of a stable and prosperous Lebanon. We cannot however be complacent when it comes to terrorism – it is clear the distinction between Hizballah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hizballah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilising activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security.
This does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have a broad and strong relationship.”