Australia Designates Hizbullah a Terror Organization
Australia has designated all of the Iran-backed Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews announced Wednesday. Previously only Hizbullah’s External Security Organization, which is part of Hizbullah’s military wing, was designated a terrorist organization by Australia beginning in 2003.
“The group continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organizations such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” Andrews said in a statement. “The Government has zero tolerance for violence, and there is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people,” she also said. Hizbullah holds several seats in the current Lebanese parliament and is part of the ruling government coalition.
“I thank the Australian government and my friend, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, for the intent to declare Hizbullah a terrorist organization,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. “Hizbullah is an Iranian-backed terror organization in Lebanon responsible for countless attacks in Israel and around the world. Together, we will continue in our fight against terror.” Bennett met with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, where he encouraged him to make the Hizbullah designation.
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Seventeen countries now designate Hizbullah as a terrorist entity, including the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom and Germany. The decision comes days after the United Kingdom announced that it would designate all of Hamas as a terror organization.