Hezbollah supporters in Beirut 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor on Thursday called on Europe to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
"The time has come for European countries to recognize Hezbollah for what it really is - an international terrorist organization," Prosor was quoted by Army Radio as saying.
Prosor's comments came days after a large explosion rocked
the southern Lebanese town of Tair Harfa, which the IDF blamed on Hezbollah.
Earlier in the week, the US State Department indicated
that it expected the EU to finally designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, following an intensive US lobbying campaign motivated by suspected Hezbollah plots on European soil.
“We’ve been engaging with our partners in Europe and we are cautiously optimistic – at last – about the prospects for an EU designation of the group,” Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism, said during an address at the Brookings Institution.
Benjamin, speaking later to The Jerusalem Post
, didn’t give a specific date when he anticipated the designation to be made, but suggested the Europeans will have to “think hard about things in the next few months.”
The US and Israel have accused Hezbollah of orchestrating a bombing that killed Israeli tourists
in Bulgaria in July and being behind a plot against Israelis that was disrupted in Cyprus less than two weeks earlier.
This month, the Bulgarian government announced it has made major advances in its investigation of the Burgas bombing and would likely present its findings at an EU meeting in January.
Clear Hezbollah ties to the attack could be a significant factor in the EU determination on whether to desigante the organization.
Prosor also demanded that the international community enforce UNSC Resolution 1701 calling for the disarmament of Hezbollah and the creation of a demilitarized zone along the Israeli border.
"Hezbollah is expanding its weapons arsenal, which is reaching unprecedented levels - more than 50,000 missiles owned by the organization are threatening Israel and the region, in direct violation of the United Nations Security Council," the Israeli envoy said.