UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid is set to ban all branches of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, possibly as soon as next week, according to British media reports.
At next week’s Conservative Party conference Javid is set to announce he is taking action to outlaw all parts of the Lebanon-based group, The Jewish Chronicle reported Thursday. But the Daily Mail, citing “well-placed sources,” reported that though he had committed to the move, Javid would not use his keynote speech to make the announcement.
Javid is reported to have received backing for the decision from the UK’s new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. On the “National Campaigns” section of his website, Hunt had harsh words for the terror group.
“Hezbollah’s beliefs are outrageous, disgusting, and should be condemned at every opportunity. I deplore the group in its entirety,” he wrote. “Proscription is an important part of the Government’s strategy to disrupt the activities of terrorist groups and those who provide support to them.”
The military wing of Hezbollah has been banned in the UK since 2008, but the political wing is not banned. This has allowed protesters at anti-Israel rallies around Britain to openly wave the yellow Hezbollah flag emblazoned with a green rifle over the globe of the world.
The US, Canada, Israel and the Arab League consider Hezbollah to be a terror group.
Javid’s decision is in stark contrast to the views of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who called Hezbollah and Hamas his friends in 2009 and said it was an honor to host representatives from those terrorist groups in parliament. In 2016 he said he regretted saying that.
However, earlier this year his party opposed a parliamentary effort to ban Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is believed by Western intelligence agencies to have been involved in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina, among other terrorist attacks. In 2006 it fired thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers during that summer’s Second Lebanon War.
On Thursday, the Israeli military released satellite images of three sites in Beirut that it said were being used by Hezbollah to hide underground precision missile production facilities.
The sites, located in close proximity to Beirut’s international airport, were first revealed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
JTA contributed to this report.