The UK Foreign Secretary has announced the banning of terror group Hezbollah, something CUFI UK has led the campaign on.
Sajid Javid confirmed in a statement on Monday afternoon and is set to announce the decision in Parliament tomorrow.
CUFI led calls for the outright banning of Hezbollah, with more than 20,000 people signing a CUFI UK petition calling for the ban with thousands more CUFI supporters writing to the Government.
We believed that calling for the banning of the Hezbollah flag just wasn’t enough. That is why two years ago, CUFI decided it was necessary to go even further and call to make the organisation itself illegal in the UK.
Thank you to everyone who rallied to the call, signed the petition, wrote to the Government and prayed that this terror group would finally be outlawed.
Today I’ve announced the banning of three groups – including Hizballah. We will continue to outlaw terrorist organisations that threaten our safety & securityhttps://t.co/KMuYXmmu39
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) February 25, 2019
Until now, Britain had only banned its “military” arm but not its “political” wing meaning there was a legal loophole currently allowing support for the organisation to grow. However, Hezbollah, by its own admission, does not differentiate between its political and military wings.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement:
“My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.”
“Hizballah is continuing in its attempts to destabilase the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”
Hezbollah calls for an Islamist revolution around the world, has carried out terror attacks for over 30 years, and calls for the “liberation of Jerusalem” and for the destruction of Israel. Backed by Iran, it has tens of thousands of rockets that can reach every city in Israel. Could this news indicate a change of stance by the British government towards Iran?
In the past, the Home Office says Hezbollah “is committed to armed resistance to the state of Israel and aims to seize all Palestinian territories and Jerusalem from Israel,” and “its military wing supports terrorism in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.”
Mr Javid is understood to have received strong backing for his decision to certify Hezbollah as an illegal terrorist organisation from new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Today Hunt said, “We are staunch supporters of a stable and prosperous Lebanon. We cannot, however, be complacent when it comes to terrorism – it is clear the distinction between Hizballah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hizballah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilising activities in the region are totally unacceptable and detrimental to the UK’s national security. This does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have a broad and strong relationship.”
Along with Hezbollah, two more terror organisations were banned. The other two were Ansaroul Islam, in northern Burkina Faso, and JNIM, an Al-Qaeda aligned group in Mali.
The ban will come into force tomorrow (Tuesday 26 February), with the Home Office saying, “decisions about proscribing or extending the proscription of a particular organisation are taken after extensive consideration and in light of a full assessment of available information.”
There are currently 74 international terrorist organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000, alongside 14 organisations connected to Northern Ireland proscribed under separate legislation.
Regarding Hezbollah, the Home Office said, “The government has taken the decision to proscribe Hizballah in its entirety on the basis that it is no longer tenable to distinguish between the military and political wings of Hizballah.”
“Hizballah was established during the Lebanese civil war and is committed to armed resistance to the state of Israel. It continues to amass weapons in direct contravention of UN Security Council Resolutions, putting the security of the region at risk. Its involvement in the Syrian war since 2012 continues to prolong the conflict and the regime’s brutal and violent repression of the Syrian people,” it continued.
It will now be illegal for anyone to fly the Hezbollah flag on the streets of Britain – something that has been seen in London every year at the anti-Semitic Al Quds march. The order will make it a criminal offence to be a member, or invite support for Hezbollah, and will carry a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Over the past three years, CUFI UK has led the calls to ban Hezbollah in the UK. We have more recently launched Operation Mordecai which is CUFI UK’s strategic plan to highlight the threat from Iran to Israel and the West.
The on-going campaign involves a number of actions on wide-ranging issues relating to Iran, but its primary aim is to ensure Britain positions itself on the right side of history by defending Israel against the tyrannous Iranian regime.
Operation Mordecai takes inspiration from the Biblical account of Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, whom having heard of the plot to annihilate the Jews, sought the Lord, warned about what was planned and took action. Please see below for more details about this campaign and how you can get involved.
Christians United for Israel UK