SHARE
COPY LINK

ISRAEL

Germany bans three groups close to Hezbollah

The German government said Wednesday it is banning three groups close to Hezbollah, the Lebanese movement that opposes Israel, against the backdrop of the current military escalation in the Middle East.

Germany bans three groups close to Hezbollah
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer “has banned three groups that are financing the terrorist organisation Hezbollah,” his spokesman wrote in a tweet.

“Whoever supports terror will not be safe in Germany… They will find no refuge in our country.”

The interior ministry said that searches were currently under way in a number of different regional states in Germany.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Jews call for protection amid Israel-Palestinian clashes

According to German media reports, the operations had been carried in the states of Hamburg, Bremen, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.

Hezbollah is designated a terrorist group by Israel and much of the West.

Founded in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, it has grown into Iran’s main regional proxy with operatives in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The only Lebanese faction to have kept its weapons after the 1975-90 civil war, Hezbollah now has a more powerful arsenal than the Lebanese national army.

Israel’s deadly Gaza offensive has many eyes trained on the Lebanese border for a Hezbollah reaction, but observers argue the Iran-backed movement is unlikely to risk an all-out conflict.

Incidents at the border in recent days have raised the temperature but, with Lebanon already on its knees amid a deep political and economic crisis, the Shiite group seems intent on refraining from an escalation.

In face of the renewed violence in the region, German authorities are concerned about a rise in anti-Semitism. A pro-Palestinian demonstration in Berlin resulted in clashes and arrests.

Last week, Israeli flags were burned in front of synagogues in Bonn and Münster.

“Our democracy will not tolerate anti-Semitic demonstrations,” the spokesman for Angela Merkel had said at the time.

READ ALSO: Germany vows ‘no tolerance’ after anti-Semitic demos

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ISRAEL

Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street

A former Israeli soldier was attacked in the German capital Berlin, police said Saturday, with one or several unknown assailants spraying him with an irritant and throwing him to the ground.

Former Israeli soldier attacked on Berlin street
Israeli soldiers on operation near the Gaza Strip. Photo: dpa | Ilia Yefimovich

The 29-year-old was wearing a top with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) logo when the attackers started harassing him on Friday about his religion, the police added, calling it “an anti-Semitic attack”.

Officers are seeking the assailants, who fled immediately after the attack, on suspicion of a politically-motivated crime.

Saturday is the second anniversary of an attack by a far-right gunman on a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, who killed two in a rampage when he failed to break into the house of worship.

It was one of a string of incidents that led authorities to declare the far right and neo-Nazis Germany’s top security threat.

Also this week, a musician claimed he was turned away from a hotel in eastern city Leipzig for wearing a Star-of-David pendant.

While the allegations prompted a fierce response from a Jewish community unsettled by increasing anti-Semitic crimes, several investigations have been mounted into contradictory accounts of the incident.

In 2019, police recorded 2,032 anti-Semitic crimes, an increase of 13 percent year-on-year.

“The threat is complex and comes from different directions” from jihadists to the far right, the federal government’s commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism Felix Klein said recently.

SHOW COMMENTS