Report: Germany to outlaw Hezbollah

German magazine reports government plans to outlaw Lebanese terror organization. Interior Ministry spokesman denies the report.

Elad Benari,

Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters
Reuters

The German government plans to outlaw the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, the Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Thursday.

Sources from Germany's Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry and Ministry of Justice said, according to the report, that the decision could happen next week when cabinet ministers are scheduled to meet.

If the decision is implemented, all activities and associations with Hezbollah will be forbidden in Germany, including waving the group's flag. The decision would treat Hezbollah as equal to ISIS and the Kurdish PKK.

Later on Thursday, an Interior Ministry spokesman denied that an outright ban of Hezbollah by Germany was in the cards, reported Deutsche Welle.

The spokesman, Steve Alter, clarified on Twitter that reports about a so-called "ban on activities" of Hezbollah "cannot be confirmed."

In 2013, the European Union of which Germany is a member, blacklisted Hezbollah's “military wing” as a terrorist organization, while failing to blacklist the group’s political arm.

However, EU members the Netherlands and United Kingdom consider all of Hezbollah a terrorist entity, as do the United States, Canada, Israel and even the Arab League.

The British government formally announced in February that it intends to ban the political wing of the Hezbollah terror organization, after previously having banned its military wing.

Germany’s Minister of State Niels Annen said in August that his country will not follow Britain’s lead, arguing that the Shiite Muslim organization remained a relevant factor in Lebanese society.

German Jewish leaders called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to fully outlaw Hezbollah.

Similarly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Germany to follow in Britain’s footsteps.




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