Lebanon’s Hezbollah has issued a statement “strongly rejecting” a British decision to consider the resistance movement a terrorist organization.
“Hezbollah strongly rejects the condemned British decision to include Hezbollah on what is called the ‘terrorist organizations list,’ and stresses that Hezbollah is a resistance movement against Israeli occupation,” read the Friday statement.
The statement stressed that nothing would stop Hezbollah from defending the country’s independence and freedom from “Israeli greed” in Lebanon’s “land, resources and territorial waters.”
The party added that the move showed “servile obedience” to the United States, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper reported.
“The British government, in this decision, insulted the sentiments and the free will of the Lebanese people, who consider Hezbollah such a political and popular force that they granted it big representation in Parliament and Cabinet,” read the statement.
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday that the government will designate the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist entity as of Friday subject to the approval of the parliament.
The UK had previously blacklisted Hezbollah’s military apparatus as a “terrorist group”.
Javid, an extreme right-wing politician of the Pakistani origin, said the UK government was no longer able to maintain a distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military activities and thus will include the group’s political unit in its blacklist.
The UK’s Labour Party has voiced its official objection to the move.
Already approved by Parliament, the House of Lords is widely expected to back the decision which would see support for Hezbollah punishable by up to 10 years in jail.