/Germany announces total ban on Hezbollah

Germany announces total ban on Hezbollah

Police carry evidence out of Al-Irschad Mosque during a raid on April 30, 2020 in Berlin, as dozens of police and special forces stormed mosques and associations linked to Hezbollah in cities across Germany | Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

The group pursues violence with terrorist means and calls for the complete destruction of Israel, interior ministry says.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer issued a ban on all activities of Hezbollah in the country Thursday morning while police officers raided mosques and offices of the group across the country.

Blamed for numerous attacks on Israeli, American and Jewish targets, the Islamist political party and militant group originally based in Lebanon has been considered a terrorist organization in the European Union since 2013.

“Hezbollah is a terrorist group believed to be responsible for numerous attacks and kidnappings,” Seehofer said.

Parts of its activities were already banned in Germany, but the civilian arm consisting of cultural associations and mosques could still operate — until today.

“Hezbollah denies Israel’s right to exist, threatens violence and terror and continues to massively upgrade its rocket arsenal,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter. “We in Germany must exhaust the means of the rule of law to take action against the criminal and terrorist activities of Hezbollah.”

The ban of the organization is justified, the interior ministry argued, because Hezbollah pursues an armed fight with terrorist means and opposes the idea of international understanding while calling for the complete destruction of Israel.

“It is part of our historic responsibility to take action against that by all means given to us under the rule of law,” Seehofer said.

“That is German raison d’état.”