Guatemala has declared Hezbollah a terror organization, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
As part of the move, Guatemala agreed to bar Hezbollah operatives from its territory and “to fight against financing” the Lebanese Shiite group, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.
It also said the designation applied to “all its arms,” seemingly referring to Hezbollah’s political and military wings.
There was no official confirmation from Guatemala.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi praised Guatemala for the decision and called on other Latin American countries to follow.
“The fight against Hezbollah is a long and difficult one but the fact can’t be ignored that that global campaign against the organization is causing it severe damage,” Ashkenazi was quoted saying in the statement.
I am pleased that the mult pronged diplomatic effort, led by the @IsraelMFA and the Defense Establishment, to recognize all the arms of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, is bearing fruit across the world, and particularly in Latin America.
— גבי אשכנזי – Gabi Ashkenazi (@Gabi_Ashkenazi) October 23, 2020
The move makes Guatemala the 12th country in the past year-and-a-half to declare Hezbollah a terror organization and comes after Estonia did so on Thursday.
Several European countries have recently taken steps against Hezbollah, after years of lobbying from Israel predicated on Hezbollah’s involvement in a deadly 2012 bus bombing in Bulgaria that left five Israeli tourists and one local dead.
America, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and several Arab states have also designated the organization in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
Jerusalem views the terror group as Iran’s proxy on its doorstep and as the greatest threat along its borders. It is believed to have many thousands of rockets and missiles ready for use against the Jewish state in any future war.
The sides last openly fought in a bloody month-long conflict in 2006.