Peres to European Parliament: Call Hezbollah terror group

(JTA) — Israeli President Shimon Peres told European Parliament lawmakers that they should classify Hezbollah as a terror group, and that Israel’s new cabinet creates a chance for renewed talks with the Palestinians. 

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“We appeal to you, call terror ‘terror,’” Peres told the European Union assembly of 754 representatives during his address there on Tuesday — the first by an Israeli president. “Hezbollah, supported by Iran, is a terror organization, not a political movement.”

Peres said that in recent years 20 attempts at terrorist activity by Hezbollah have been recorded worldwide, including in Europe.

Peres noted that last month Bulgaria, which is a member of the European Union, named Hezbollah responsible for a deadly July 19 bus bombing in Burgas aimed at Israeli citizens. 

At the end of a long investigation, Bulgaria found that Hezbollah funded the operation in which several agents of the terror group’s military wing blew up a bus of Israeli tourists, killing five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver. 

In his 75-minute speech Peres also said peace between Israel and the Palestinians can be achieved. The forming of a new government in Israel, expected to be announced later this week, “is an occasion to resume peace negotiations, to realize the two-state solution,” he said.

On Iran, Peres said: “A nuclear bomb in the hands of an irresponsible regime is an imminent danger to the world.”

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