The United States on Wednesday sanctioned Lebanon-based “Green Without Borders” (GWB) and its leader, Zuhair Subhi Nahla as a terrorist organization, calling out the group for its sheep-in-wolves’ clothing attempt to disguise its activities on behalf of Hezbollah.
Israel welcomed the decision and called on the United Nations Security Council to join the US in taking action against the group, which operates as an arm of Hezbollah.
“In light of today’s welcomed step by the US, the Security Council must follow suit,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan urged.
“As Israel presented to UN officials and Security Council members on numerous occasions, Green Without Borders serves as a guise for Hezbollah, an internationally designated terrorist organization,” Erdan said.
“The UN and Security Council must address this Hezbollah arm in the upcoming renewal of UNIFIL’s mandate and demand that the Government of Lebanon immediately remove all military compounds built by Hezbollah under the guise of Green Without Borders along the Blue Line in grave violation of Security Council Resolution 1701. The Government of Lebanon must be held accountable for what occurs on its territory.”
Green Without Borders is a Lebanon-based organization that has for years provided support to and cover for Hezbollah’s operations in southern Lebanon along the “Blue Line” between Lebanon and Israel over the last decade while publicly operating under the guise of environmental activism.
“The United States rejects Hezbollah’s cynical efforts to cloak its destabilizing terrorist activities with false environmentalism,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
“We will continue to support the many Lebanese civil society groups protecting Lebanon’s unique and sensitive natural environment while also relentlessly pursuing Hezbollah and their support networks.”
The designation was made in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, leaders and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
The order was signed on September 23, 2001 by then-President George Bush in response to Al-Qaeda’s horrific September 11, 2001 attack on America.
The order authorizes the US government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.
In addition, because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundations of foreign terrorists, the order authorizes the US government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support, services, or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists and terrorist organizations designated under the Order, as well as their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.
In a separate statement, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that GWB sites have been used to conduct Hezbollah weapons training, to provide support for Hezbollah’s activities along the Blue Line in southern Lebanon, and to impede the freedom of movement of the UN Security Council-mandated United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
“We are taking this action as part of our efforts to prevent and disrupt financial and other support for terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Israel, and around the world,” Miller said.
“The United States is committed to denying funding and resources to these terrorist support networks and will continue countering the threats they pose both locally and internationally.”