To date, the British government has, on a number of occasions, failed to take the opportunity to ban the entire organisation. Jennifer Gerber, the director of Labour Friends of Israel, said that the debate at the end of the month has the aim of increasing pressure on the government so that it finally puts banning the group in its entirety on its agenda, “without further delay or excuses”.
The cross-party parliamentary debate was organised by MP Joan Ryan who is the head of the pro-Israel Labour Party.
Labour Friends of Israel has said in a statement that it has repeatedly called for “the complete proscription of the terrorist group Hezbollah”. At the minute, the United Kingdom has banned the group’s military wing, but not its political one. However, it must be noted that Hezbollah itself does not recognise two different wings and its deputy secretary-general, Naim Qassem, has said that the whole group is dedicated to destroying Israel.
The statement also said that the distinction made by the United Kingdom means that the flags of Hezbollah can be displayed on streets in the country – as seen last year when the annual al-Quds Day parade took place in the English capital. Last year, the vice chair of LFI called on the Mayor of London to review the policing of the parade. A few months later, she spoke with the Metropolitan Police to discuss it.
A host of other countries have designated the terrorist organisation as such, including Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Israel and the Arab League.
Hezbollah has been involved in a number of terrorist attacks such as the 2012 attack on an Israeli tour bus in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Muslin bus driver and five Israelis were killed in the attack.
Almost five years ago, a member of Hezbollah was convicted in Cyprus for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Israelis. Taleb Yaacoub held both Swedish and Lebanese passports and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
Two years later, a court in Cyprus sentenced Hussein Bassam Abdallah, another Hezbollah operative, to six years in prison for his role in collecting explosives to use against Israelis.
Iran and Hezbollah have close links and it has been established that the Iranian regime uses it to spread terror across the world.
President Trump who has spent months trying to curb the threat of Iran urged all countries last week to outlaw the full Hezbollah organisation. He said: “I (…) call on all our allies to take stronger steps with us to confront Iran’s other malign activities. Among other actions, our allies should cut off funding to [Iran’s] Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, its militant proxies, and anyone else who contributes to Iran’s support for terrorism. They should designate Hezbollah, in its entirety, as a terrorist organization.”