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Blacklisting Hezbollah still on the table, EU says

Liberman had slammed Europe for ‘giving in to terror’; delegation to Israel says member states still debating issue

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

A Lebanese boy at a Hezbollah rally in Lebanon in May.  (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
A Lebanese boy at a Hezbollah rally in Lebanon in May. (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

The European Union’s mission to Israel on Wednesday denied claims it had decided not to list Hezbollah as a terror group, saying member states were still holding talks on the matter.

“Reports have appeared in recent days in the Israeli media suggesting that the European Union took a decision earlier this month not to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. These reports are not founded on fact. No such decision has been taken,” the delegation said.

According to a statement, “discussions are continuing between the EU member states on the issue of listing Hezbollah. Any decision requires the unanimous support of all EU member states.”

On Sunday, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in which he charged that the decision to leave the Lebanese-based Shiite group off the blacklist was “capitulation to terrorism.”

In the missive Liberman, Israel’s former foreign minister, questioned Israel’s ability to rely on Europe’s word if it wasn’t able to contend with terrorism.

“The exclusion of Hezbollah from the list of proscribed terrorist organizations is a capitulation to terrorism,” Liberman wrote.

The letter of complaint to Brussels was sent, he said, in reaction to what he called the EU’s decision last week “to currently exclude the terrorist organization Hezbollah” from its list of outlawed terror groups.

“The decision made by the EU on the fourth of this month raises many questions, the most important of which is about the readiness of the EU to combat terrorism and how Israel can rely on European promises to guarantee its security,” Liberman charged.

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