German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer banned Hezbollah activities in the country, a ministry spokesman confirmed.
He also confirmed that “police measures are underway in several federal states concurrently,” and added that even in times of crisis, the “rule of law is able to act.” The police raids are focused on four mosque associations in Berlin, Dortmund, Bremen and Münster accused of belonging to Hezbollah.
Germany has also classified it in its entirety as a terrorist organization.
By implementing a total ban on all arms of Hezbollah, authorities have effectively made it easier to take action against Hezbollah, thus making it more difficult to conduct such transnational activities — with Germany as a transit point.
As for activities within Germany, the ban essentially criminalises public expression of support for Hezbollah. Followers can no longer display the flag of the Lebanese militia, a green rifle on a yellow background, and the group would have to assume a different name and logo in order to operate publicly.
In a statement, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the country’s EJC affiliate, welcomed the ban. “It was high time that Germany followed other countries and banned Hezbollah”, said Central Council President Josef Schuster, “Germany should no longer offer sanctuary to the followers of an Islamist organization, which – driven by a deep hatred of Jews – incites to violence and finances terror. Within the framework of its upcoming EU Council Presidency, Germany should advocate for an EU-wide ban.”
“A ban on the Al Quds Day March would also be the next necessary and consistent step,” Dr. Schuster concluded.