Argentina recognises Hezbollah as a terror group 25 years after AMIA bombing
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Argentina recognises Hezbollah as a terror group 25 years after AMIA bombing

World Jewish Congress president welcomes the 'long-awaited and principled' decision by Argentina, a quarter of a century after the Jewish centre attack

Remains of the AMIA after the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Remains of the AMIA after the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentina’s government has officially recognised Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, 25 years after the bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires which killed 85 people.

The move follows Wednesday’s creation of a national register of people and entities linked to acts of terrorism, an important step that allows Argentina to declare any group or person a terrorist not already listed as such by the United Nations.

Hezbollah operatives have long been suspected of carrying out the attack on the Argentinian Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building in 1994 and this week Jewish leaders paid tribute to Argentina’s decision to proscribe the Lebanon-based group.

“The Argentine government has taken a long-awaited and principled step today in the international fight against global terror by including Hezbollah on its list of terrorist entities,” said World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder.

“For more than 35 years, Hezbollah has terrorised the globe, under the long arm of its patron Iran, and yet continues to be granted immunity and impunity by several nations and international organisations.”

He said the AMIA bombing “was carried out by Hezbollah and masterminded by Iran, and yet none of the perpetrators has yet been brought to justice,” adding: “We must never grant leniency or impunity to those who wish to undermine our core values.”

Earlier this year the UK Government designated the entire group a terrorist organisation, having previously only proscribed Hezbollah’s military wing. Argentina’s Jewish population is a similar size to the UK’s Jewish community, around 300,000.

Terrorists struck the Argentinian capital twice in the early 1990s, bombing Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, two years before the AMIA attack, killing 29 people and wounding 200. That attack was blamed on Islamic Jihad.

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