(AP/Mohammed Zaatari)
Lebanon Hezbollah terrorist rocket launchers

“The Government has zero tolerance for violence, and there is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people,” Australian Minister Andrews said.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Australia has officially defined Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, the country’s Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews announced Wednesday.

“The Morrison Government intends to list the entirety of Hezbollah and the racist neo-Nazi group The Base as terrorist organizations under the criminal code. I will continue to take strong action to keep Australians safe from terrorism,” she declared.

“The Government has zero tolerance for violence, and there is no cause – religious or ideological – that can justify killing innocent people,” Minister Andrews said.

Hezbollah’s External Security Organization, its military wing, has been a listed terrorist organization in Australia since 2003.

The group continues to threaten terrorist attacks and provides support to terrorist organizations such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the decision notes.

Australia’s bipartisan intelligence and security committee urged the government to declare all of Hezbollah a terrorist group in June.

The listings will enable the application of terrorist organization offenses to Hezbollah, and “align Australia with international partners” such as the United Kingdom and Canada.

Twenty-six terrorist organizations are currently listed under the Criminal Code in Australia, including Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid thanked Australia for its decision and noted that it joins “similar and important decisions” of 17 other countries in the last two years that “have realized that there are no separate arms to a terrorist organization. The same is true of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, it is one body, and any separation between its arms is artificial.”

He called on other countries and the European Union to “join the pressure on Hezbollah, to outlaw its activities and to recognize the organization, in all its arms, as a terrorist organization.”

In Europe, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Kosovo, Serbia, and Latvia have recognized the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety.

Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Honduras, Paraguay, the US, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have all banned Hezbollah in its entirety.

Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland have commenced similar processes.

Some other countries, including the European Union, Japan, and New Zealand, have banned Hezbollah’s military wing, but not its political wing, which is very powerful in Lebanon.

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