It has been reported the the evidence shows that Hezbollah does not maintain separate terrorist, military and political wings. Still, British officials remain committed to this rhetoric. Hezbollah itself explicitly rejects the notion of separate wings, and insists that it is a unified organization committed to political violence through military and terrorist tactics.
Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, Naim Qassem, explained in straightforward terms, “We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hezbollah on one hand and the resistance party on the other … Every element of Hezbollah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, is in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority.”
Still, “The military and political activities of Hezbollah are distinct, though links exist between the senior leaders of the political and military wings,” Home Office Minister for Security Ben Wallace asserted this week.
Hezbollah leaders, contrary to what Wallace says, are fully aware of the structural continuity between its various militant and political activities and worry that a designation of the group in its entirety would severely undermine the group. They would like to keep a lid on the full extent of the ties between these overt and covert activities.
In fact, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has publicly expressed his fears that a European designation of all of Hezbollah “would dry up the sources of finance, end moral, political and material support” for the group. The partial designation of Hezbollah has done no such thing, but Nasrallah worries what a full designation might accomplish.
When British officials debate a full designation of Hezbollah this week, they should take the words of Hezbollah leaders to heart — Hezbollah is a unified “resistance” organization, which continues to operate within the U.K. despite a partial ban of its terrorist and military wings.
“Drying up” the financial and material support for Hezbollah that still comes from the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe can be accomplished by designating the group in its entirety.