Austria has banned Hezbollah in its entirety this week, going farther than the EU policy of outlawing the Lebanese terrorist group’s military arm, The Jerusalem Post said on Thursday.
“This is a very clear signal,” Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said, after parliament approved the proposal to include the militant group in a law debarring the use of certain symbols.
“This step reflects reality. The group itself makes no distinction between the military and the political arm,” Schallenberg explained.
He pointed out that Hezbollah “poses a serious threat to the stability in the region and to the security of Israel. Israel’s right to exist must not be called into question.”
The Austrian foreign minister also said it is unfortunate that there has not been any progress on the UN Security Council’s call to disarm Hezbollah.
Austria barred the symbols of other Islamist groups too: the Caucusus Emirate, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front.
The EU outlawed activities by Hezbollah’s military wing, while allowing its political arm, even though the Shi’ite group does not view them as separate.
Other European countries that have entirely banned Hezbollah include Germany, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Estonia and the Czech Republic.