Rep. Kelly’s Bipartisan Resolution Urging the European Union to Recognize Hizballah as a Terrorist Organization Passes the House

Jan 4, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs and Defense

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Julia Thornton

January 2, 2013

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Rep. Kelly’s Bipartisan Resolution Urging the European Union to Recognize Hizballah as a Terrorist Organization Passes the House

 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH REP. KELLY INTRODUCE H. RES. 834

 

Washington, DC — Last night, a bipartisan-supported resolution introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) urging the European Union (EU) and its member states to designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization passed the House.  EU designation of Hizballah as a terrorist organization would prevent Hizballah from using EU territories for fundraising, recruitment, training, and propaganda. H. Res. 834 also urges the EU and its members to impose sanctions on Hizballah for supporting the Assad regime’s brutal violence against the Syrian people, and affirms U.S. support for the Bulgarian government and its investigation of the July 18, 2012, terrorist attack, which killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian.

For several decades, Hizballah has been implicated in numerous deadly terrorist attacks against Europeans, Americans and Israelis, including:

  • The 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people;
  • The 1983 bombing of the U.S. and French barracks of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, killing 241 American servicemen and 58 French soldiers;
  • The 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people;
  • The 1994 bombing of the AMIA (Jewish community center) building in Buenos Aries in 1994, killing 85 people; and
  • The suicide bombing on July 18, 2012 that killed 5 Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver in the town of Burgas, Bulgaria.

The U.S. has designated Hizballah as a terrorist organization since the late 1990s.

Rep. Kelly issued the following statement on the passage of H. Res. 834:

“Once called the ‘A-Team of terrorists’ by a senior State Department official, Hizballah has a well-documented and undeniable record of terrorist activity that demands recognition by the international community. For decades, Hizballah has committed murderous acts on Americans and our allies in both Europe and the Middle East. Any designation for Hizballah short of terrorist would be untruthful and dangerous. It’s impossible to defeat an enemy if you can’t define it, and I strongly urge the European Union to recognize Hizballah for the terrorist organization that it is and the very real threat to peace that it represents.”

Background

In September, Rep. Kelly sent a letter to the President and Ministers of the Commission of the European Union (EU) urging the Commission to add Hizballah to the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations. Rep. Kelly spearheaded this bipartisan effort along with Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The letter, which was signed by 268 members of the House (158 Republicans and 110 Democrats), discusses Hizballah’s long history of terrorism on European soil and around the globe, including attacks on Americans and Israelis, as well as Hizballah’s close alliance with the brutal regimes in Iran and Syria. The U.S. Department of State first designated Hizballah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in the 1990s pursuant to the U.S. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Under U.S. law, it is a criminal offense to support an FTO.