The British government on Monday banned the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah in Britain as a “terrorist organization”, while Israel welcomed the resolution and called on the United Nations to do the same.

“Hezbollah continues its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East and we can no longer distinguish between its already banned military wing and the political party”, Interior Minister Sajid Javed said in a statement.

“Therefore, the decision was taken to ban the entire group”, Javed said.

The penalty for belonging to Hezbollah or promoting it may be up to 10 years in prison, while the British Parliament will vote on the resolution this week.

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted: “I would like to pay tribute to the British government for its decision to consider Hezbollah as a terrorist organization”.

“In my next meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in New York next week, I’ll emphasize that the United Nations institutions must take a similar decision”.

The British decision came after a wave of anger after the emergence of Hezbollah flags in pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London.

Hezbollah was founded in 1982 by an initiative of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and imposed itself in Lebanon as a political power and entered the parliament for the first time in 2005.

It has also become a key player in the Middle East.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said in a statement that “the distinction between the political and armed wing of Hezbollah is a false and artificial divide”.

In December, Israel accused Hezbollah of digging tunnels from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory and destroying it in a military operation.

Israel and the United States classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, but the EU classifies only its military wing as a terrorist organization.

In 2017, several Arab countries, especially the Gulf states, described the party as a “terrorist”.

“All those who want a right to fight terrorism should reject the false distinction between the political and military wings of Hezbollah”, Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan tweeted on Monday.

“Now is the time for the EU to do what Britain has done”.

Currently, 74 organizations in Britain have been banned under the Anti-Terrorism Act and 14 groups associated with Northern Ireland.

London will also ban “Ansar Al Islam” and the “Support for Islam and Muslims” group that is related to Al Qaeda.

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