NEW YORK – At a UN Security Council discussion on the protection of civilians in armed conflict on Tuesday, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor renewed his call for Hezbollah to be designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, as it has been categorized by the United States.

“Make no mistake: Hezbollah’s sole purpose is to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East,” Prosor said. “Calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al- Qaida an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings.”

The charge came just days after Bulgarian authorities identified Hezbollah as the perpetrator of a terrorist attack in Burgas last July, which killed seven people, including the suicide bomber, and wounded 32.

“This was the deadliest attack on European soil since 2005,” Prosor noted.

“The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must send a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”

“Too often members of the EU conveniently ignore the violence of Hezbollah and insist it is merely a political organization,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Hopefully this report will strip Hezbollah of any claim of legitimacy and finally allow people to see it for what it is – a violent and dangerous terrorist organization.”

Much of the council’s discussion addressed the Syrian crisis, shortly after UN officials estimated the death toll from that conflict might soon top 70,000 people.

“The conflict in Syria puts this council’s and the international community’s ability to protect civilians in armed conflict to a clear test,” said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary- general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“It is regrettable that neither this council nor the international community have passed this test.”

Ihsanoglu said that Israel enjoys impunity from “international and human rights” laws, and that both Israelis and Palestinians “deserve a permanent peace.

“It is long overdue for Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live side by side in peace and security,” he said.

The UNRWA estimates that roughly 24,000 Palestinians in Syria have fled to Lebanon for refuge, and has called that refugee crisis alone a “humanitarian emergency.” Upward of 700,000 have fled Syria in total since the conflict began in March 2011.

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