In a move lauded by Israeli officials as a major diplomatic victory, the European Union has announced that it will list Hezbollah’s military wing as a “terrorist” organization and will add them to the terrorism blacklist.
The decision cited claims of Hezbollah involvement in a 2012 Bulgarian bus bombing, though the current Bulgarian government insists that there is no hard evidence of this, and that the previous government had dramatically overstated their suspicions.
US and Israeli officials are cheering the decision, but it has sparked major concerns in Lebanon, and it remains to be seen how much impact the split listing will have on Hezbollah, or even how it will be handled as a policy matter.
For while Hezbollah has a significant militia, and got its start fighting Israeli occupation forces in southern Lebanon, the group also has a huge political and civil wing as well, and doesn’t formally split itself along those lines.
Hezbollah politicians are a key portion of the Lebanese coalition government, and the EU clearly felt listing Hezbollah as a whole would be damaging to Lebanese stability. In practice, though. the partial listing raises a large measure of uncertainty about who in Hezbollah will be impacted, and whether it will be practical for the EU to do much of anything with this designation.
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