The Arab League has officially removed Hezbollah from its list of official terrorist organizations.

“Member states have agreed that the label of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization should no longer be employed,” Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki announced on Sunday.

The Arab League, a regional organization made up of 22 member states, has long been a key player in Arab policies towards Israel. In March 2016, they designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization for promoting extremism and meddling in internal affairs.

However, a reversal was decided upon after Zaki’s meeting with Hezbollah official Muhammad Raad in Beirut over the weekend. Prior to their meeting, no official contact between the Arab League and Hezbollah had been made in over a decade, according to Egyptian Al-Qahera News.

Israel’s response has been swift and harsh.

“While he prefers to reach a diplomatic agreement with Hezbollah, Israel’s defence establishment is preparing for a potential attack in Lebanon,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. “We are preparing our defensive and offensive capabilities, and this whole thing can happen very quickly.”

“The war in Lebanon will carry a price, and I don’t underestimate it,” Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich warned. “But any price we pay today will be much smaller than what we will be forced to pay in the future if we don’t act.”

While the Arab League continues to criticize Israel, some member states have pursued individual peace deals with Israel. Egypt’s 1979 treaty and Jordan’s 1994 agreement marked early breaks from unified Arab opposition. Under former President Donald Trump, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco normalized relations with Israel in 2020, and Saudi Arabia is reportedly close to recognizing the Jewish State’s right to exist.

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