Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sheik Nasrallah criticizes Britain's ban on Hezbollah

Wed, 02 Jul 2008

London/Beirut - Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the chief of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah movement, on Wednesday said Britain's decision to add Hezbollah to its list of banned terrorist organisations "is not surprising."

"This decision is a (source of) great pride for us and a medal on our chests," he said told a press conference in Beirut's southern suburbs.
"Such a decision is proof that we are on the right track and backing and supporting our people," he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Britain's Home Office said the government has added the military wing of the Hezbollah, Lebanon's leading opposition party, to the list of banned terrorist organizations.
Hezbollah's external security organization was already included on the list, drawn up under counter-terror legislation passed in 2000, but it has now been replaced by a ban on the party's entire military structure, state secretary Tony McNulty said.
"We have always considered Britain as a main backer and a founder of the Zionist state (Israel)," Nasrallah said.
Britain, he added, had hosted Salman Rushdie, the author of the controversial Satanic Verses in which he had "tried to defame Islam".
Inclusion on the list - which features 45 international terror groups - makes it a criminal offence in Britain to be a member of that organization, or to raise funds or to encourage support for it.
McNulty said the ban does not apply to the political, social or humanitarian activities of Hezbollah.
"Hezbollah's military wing is providing active support to militants in Iraq who are responsible for attacks both on coalition forces and on Iraqi civilians, including providing training in the use of deadly roadside bombs," he said.
"Hezbollah's military wing also provides support to Palestinian terrorist groups in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad," McNulty noted.
"It is because of this support for terrorism in Iraq and Occupied Palestinian Territories that the government has taken this action. Proscription of Hezbollah's military wing will not affect the legitimate political, social and humanitarian role Hezbollah plays in Lebanon, but it sends out a clear message that we condemn Hezbollah's violence and support for terrorism," he said. (TheEarthTimes)

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