Responding to this week’s European Union decision labeling the Hezbollah
military wing a terrorist entity, the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah said late
Wednesday the EU would be “a full partner” in any Israeli attacks against
According to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar website, Nasrallah’s speech
took place at the annual iftar ceremony held by the Women’s Committee of Islamic
Resistance Support Association.
He asked why the military wing of the
Israeli army was not also on the terror list as the EU itself admits that Israel
occupies Arab land, does not abide by international law, and that the “whole
world witnessed the Israeli massacres.”
The comment linking the EU with a
future Israeli attack may mean that the organization could target European
interests in the future, such as member states participating in the UN
peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.
Nasrallah dismissed the notion
that the move would harm his group, stating that his organization did not have
any money in Europe. He added, jokingly, that the next Hezbollah ministers in
the Lebanese government would be from the military wing.
concluded by saying that the Resistance would stay steadfast and “would be
victorious, by Allah’s will.”
Hezbollah has denied any involvement in the
bombing last July of an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria – in which five
Israelis and their Bulgarian driver died – and says the EU surrendered to US and
Israeli pressure to call the group a terrorist entity. The Bulgarian interior
minister said last week Sofia had no doubt Hezbollah was behind the
Hezbollah has a dozen of its members in parliament and two
ministers in Lebanon’s caretaker cabinet, as well as thousands of armed
fighters. It says it is a unified movement and makes no distinction between
military or political wings.
An article in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar
stated that the EU was also pressured by Saudi Arabia in its decision, because
the kingdom is angry at the group for supporting Syrian President Bashar
Chuck Freilich, a senior fellow at the Belfer Center of Harvard’s
Kennedy School of Government and a former deputy national security adviser in
Israel, told The Jerusalem Post that Hezbollah now faces its biggest crisis
He says that if Assad falls it would be a dramatic strategic
setback for Hezbollah and Iran.
Iran would lose its “direct foothold on
the conflict with Israel, which it wants both to advance its efforts to fight
and destroy Israel” and to “promote its leadership of the Arab world.”
would also make supplying Hezbollah that much harder, said Freilich.
is a “make or break situation,” said Freilich adding that a failure by the
Shi’ites to keep the Allawite Assad in power would dramatically change the
dynamics of the regional Sunni-Shi’ite struggle.
domestic situation has also deteriorated, it has not launched an attack against
Israel in the past seven years because of the deterrence created in the 2006
Lebanon war, Freilich said.
“Sooner or later there will be another round
with Israel, but for now the group is focused elsewhere.”
To reduce the
rocket threat from the north, Israel could take advantage of a distracted
Hezbollah – with its forces embroiled in Syria and battling sectarian conflict
at home – to further weaken the group before a possible attack against Iran’s
Yet a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah may not
be needed, as these same distractions make any significant attack against Israel
Reuters contributed to this report.
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