Lebanon summons German ambassador over Hezbollah ban

Lebanon protests Germany's decision to ban the Hezbollah organization.

Elad Benari ,

Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon
Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon

Lebanon on Tuesday summoned the German ambassador in Beirut to protest his country’s decision to ban the Hezbollah organization, the Anadolu news agency reports.

The German Ambassador Georg Birgelen stated that the decision to ban the activities of Hezbollah was taken a while ago and it finally entered into force, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The decision does not classify Hezbollah as a terrorist [group], but rather prohibits its activities on German soil," the ambassador was quoted as having said.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti, for his part, reiterated that Hezbollah "is a fundamental political component in the country and represents a broad class of the people, and is part of the Lebanese parliament", according to the statement.

The German Interior Ministry on Thursday morning issued a federal order outlawing Hezbollah in Germany, and also took enforcement measures under the provisions of the order.

The order prohibits any contact with members of the organization and does not differentiate between its various arms - military, political or social. According to the order, any use of the organization's symbols and the organization's assets in Germany, if any, would be banned.

Kan 11 News later reported that Germany received intelligence information from Israel that helped formulate the declaration that Hezbollah will be outlawed.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Monday condemned Germany's ban on his group, saying the move was bowing to US pressure and insisting Hezbollah was not active in the country.

In a televised speech, Nasrallah called the German decision a "political decision that reflects Germany's submission to America's will and to pleasing Israel."

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

In March of 2019, the British government designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Earlier this year, Britain's finance ministry added the entire Hezbollah organization to its list of terrorist groups subject to asset freezing.

Hezbollah plays a major role in Lebanese politics and is a key player in its government.