Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the EU's decision on Monday – some 15 years in the making – to put the military wing of Hezbollah on its list of terror organizations.
The decision to place Hezbollah's military wing – but not its political one – on the blacklist came at a meeting of the EU's 28 foreign ministers.
In addition to having a militia with thousands of well-equipped, trained fighters, the organization is also a political party that is part of the Lebanese government.
"We also agreed that the delivery of legitimate financial transfers to Lebanon and delivery of assistance from the European Union and its member states will not be affected," the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Washington- based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the decisions "still ignores the evidence, including statements from Hezbollah's own leadership, that Hezbollah is not a two-winged organization neatly divided between political and military arms."
Dubowitz, a leading expert on sanctions targeting Hezbollah and Iran, added that "the US government, working with Congress, now needs to use its designation and secondary sanctions authority to target all of Hezbollah's political, commercial and charitable entities in Europe and elsewhere which masquerade as legitimate players. By designating and identifying these entities, the US can lay the predicate for an expanded set of measures to encourage Europe to target Hezbollah in its entirety."
"Washington and Jerusalem should also use the Hezbollah designation to encourage Europe to take the next logical step and designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards, including their terrorist arm the Quds Force, who are Hezbollah's masters. Regardless of who is the Iranian president, they remain the long arm of the Iranian terrorist, nuclear and human rights threat," said Dubowitz.