Label Hezbollah a terror group, Peres tells European Parliament

(JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres told European Parliament lawmakers that they should classify Hezbollah as a terror group.

"We appeal to you, call terror ‘terror,’ ” Peres told the European Union assembly of 754 representatives during his address in Brussels on Tuesday — the first by an Israeli president. "Hezbollah, supported by Iran, is a terror organization, not a political movement."

Peres said that in recent years, 20 attempts at terrorist activity by Hezbollah have been recorded worldwide, including in Europe.

Peres noted that last month Bulgaria, which is an EU member, named Hezbollah responsible for a deadly July 19 bus bombing in Burgas aimed at Israeli citizens. 

At the end of a long investigation, Bulgaria found that Hezbollah funded the operation in which several agents of the terror group’s military wing blew up a bus of Israeli tourists, killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver. 

In his 75-minute speech, Peres also said peace between Israel and the Palestinians can be achieved. The forming of a new government in Israel, expected to be announced later this week, "is an occasion to resume peace negotiations, to realize the two-state solution," he said.

On Iran, Peres said, "A nuclear bomb in the hands of an irresponsible regime is an imminent danger to the world."

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