The United Kingdom will ban the terrorist group Hezbollah as well as several other groups, the British Home Secretary announced Monday.
Being a member of these groups or inviting support for them will be a criminal offense and can carry sentences up to 10 years in prison, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: ADL Demands That Tlaib Explain Her Relationship With Pro-Hezbollah Activist)
Hezbollah, which means “Party of God” in Arabic, is a Shi’ite militant group and political party in Lebanon. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Hezbollah was created with the purpose of driving Israel out of Lebanon and creating an “Islamic State.”
Let’s hope other countries will follow suit; since the idea of differentiating between political and military wings don’t make sense at all. pic.twitter.com/R9P4PBK4DI
— Salman Al-Ansari سلمان الأنصاري (@Salansar1) February 25, 2019
Until now, the United Kingdom had only banned the military arm of Hezbollah, but now Parliament has voted to ban the entire organization.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid sponsored the draft order, saying, “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.”
The UK government says that the reason for this change was because it could no longer “distinguish between the military and political wings of Hizballah.”
The two other terrorist groups included are Ansaroul Islam and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Walmuslimin (JNIM). Ansaroul Islam is a terror group located in Burkina Faso, where it attempts to enforce Sharia, and JNIM is an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Mali.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, “This does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have a broad and strong relationship.”
No Hezbollah officials have commented on this decision, according to the AP.