JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli MK Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said the European Union's decision to list Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization is half-baked.
"As is their wont, the Europeans went just half way and came to a decision that was partial and insufficient," Lieberman said.
Lieberman said separating the Iranian proxy's so-called military wing from its political wing is a flawed concept at best.
"The military and political arms of Hezbollah are two sides of the same coin," Lieberman said. "Both are headed by the same person: [Sheikh] Hassan Nasrallah. Attempts to portray the organization as having a 'moderate' and a 'militant' wing are like trying to say that a cannibal can also be a vegetarian."
Israeli President Shimon Peres commended the EU's long-awaited decision, calling it "a necessary, wise step."
"I welcome the European Union's decision regarding Hezbollah, a significant and necessary step toward putting an end to the spread of terror across the globe," Peres said in letters sent to E.U. leaders.
"The devastating effects of terror are not restricted to the Middle East," he continued. "As we witnessed the horrific attack in Bugaria, Hezbollah strikes all over the world, including within Europe, indiscriminantly targeting innocent civilians. Your decision sends a clear message to terror organizations and the countries that harbor them that their murderous actions will not be tolerated."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the decision, saying Israel considers Hezbollah "one organization."
"I welcome the fact that the E.U. has also declared Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, and I thank the leaders of its member states," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office.
"As far as the State of Israel is concerned, Hezbollah is one organization, the arms of which are indistinguishable," he said, adding that he hoped "the implementation of the decision will lead to tangible steps against the organization."