Colombia and Honduras designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization

Netanyahu: They took important step joining Israel and US in fighting terror.

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez (photo credit: REUTERS)
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Honduras and Colombia for officially designating Lebanese Shia organization Hezbollah as a terrorist group on Monday.
Netanyahu said these countries took an “important step” to “join Israel and the US in our fight against global terror. I call on more countries to join this move.
Honduras and Colombia join Argentina and Paraguay who already view Hezbollah as terrorists. Colombia accepted the full US and EU lists of terrorist organizations, which also includes the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The decisions were announced at a meeting on counterterrorism in Bogota between US Secretary of Mike Pompeo and ministers from several Latin American countries. Pompeo and Netanyahu campaigned in recent months to have more countries in the region sanction Hezbollah.
Pompeo responded to the decisions on Twitter on Monday, writing that "Countries across the Western Hemisphere have made notable progress in countering terrorism." The secretary of state added that he looked "forward to expanding our cooperation and collective security."
Colombian President Iván Duque tweeted that he has information about Hezbollah activities in Venezuela, and the adoption of the EU and US terrorist lists “will allow timely detection” of terrorist activity.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández announced on Twitter earlier in the day that his country would declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
“On December 8th, 2019, I addressed the Israeli American Council,” he wrote, “describing the security threat posed by the terrorist group Hezbollah and its activities of transnational organized crime... The terror attack against AMIA in Buenos Aires, and the killing of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman.”
Hezbollah has a long history in Latin America, killing 85 in an attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. In 2015, Alberto Nisman, a Jewish Argentinian prosecutor, was assassinated shortly before he was to testify about Iranian activities in Argentina.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the Honduran government for its decision.
“This is an important step in the international war on terror, following countries like the UK, Argentina, Paraguay and other countries in the region and the world,” he said.
Israel will continue to discuss the matter with Germany, Australia and Brazil, with an expectation that they will follow suit and join the effort against the Iranian proxy organization, Katz said.
“There is no time like now to send the necessary message,” he said.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon tweeted his thanks to Hernández, saying: “An important step in the fight against Iranian terrorism and proxies in the Middle East and throughout the world. Thank you.”
When tweeting his announcement in English, Hernández retweeted Pompeo, who wrote: “On this five-year anniversary of prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s death, we remember the 1994 AMIA Jewish center attack in Buenos Aires and his tireless efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. We call on all nations to designate Hezbollah as the terrorist organization it is.”