France is considering labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organizing, pending review
of the results of a Bulgarian investigation into a terrorist attack in Burgas
that killed five Israeli tourists and their bus driver, Lebanon’s An-Nahar daily
reported on Saturday.
Last week, Bulgaria openly charged the
Iranian-backed Hezbollah with having carried out the July bus
Deputy Hezbollah leader Naim Qassem responded that Israel was
directing “allegations and incitements and accusations against Hezbollah”
because it had failed to defeat it militarily.
The conclusions of the
investigation, citing a clear connection to an attack on European Union soil,
might pave the way for the EU to join the United States in branding Hezbollah a
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe
Lalliot said on Saturday that though the issue was not on the European Union
agenda, the alliance could discuss it should one of the EU ministers propose to
Lalliot also said Bulgaria had failed to present any tangible
evidence of Hezbollah involvement.
Meanwhile, Canada urged the EU to
“We believe there is overwhelming evidence to
suggest Hezbollah has been not just complicit, but actively carrying out
terrorist attacks around the world in support of Iran,” the National Post quoted
a government official as saying. “We hope that the European Union will follow
At a UN Security Council discussion on Tuesday on the
protection of civilians in armed conflict, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor
renewed his call for Hezbollah to be designated as a terrorist organization by
the European Union.
“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.”
Michael Wilner contributed to this report.