Britain completes ban of Hezbollah by adding its political arm


(JTA) — Britain will ban completely the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday confirmed the government’s plan to ban all wings of the group, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel. The ban will go into effect on Friday subject to Parliament’s approval, Reuters reported.

In 2008, Britain banned Hezbollah’s armed wing. The new ban would add its political arm.

“Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize 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,” Javid said Monday, according to Reuters.

Parliament also will vote on banning the terror groups Ansaroul Islam and JNIM, which operate in the Sahel region in Africa.

Being a member or offering support to the groups carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that while Britain is a staunch supporter of a stable and prosperous Lebanon, it cannot be complacent on terrorism, and “it is clear the distinction between Hezbollah’s military and political wings does not exist, and by proscribing Hezbollah in all its forms, the government is sending a clear signal that its destabilizing 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.”

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