Germany placed a blanket ban on all Hezbollah activities inside its borders and police raided locations linked to the group, including several mosques on Thursday. According to the police and the German Interior Ministry, four mosques and cultural associations were raided, as well as private homes of their board members, treasurers, and tax advisers.
NO MORE HEZBOLLAH IN GERMANY
“The associations under investigation are suspected of forming part of Hezbollah due to their financial support and propaganda for the terrorist organization,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement posted on its website. It added the searches were conducted to “ensure that evidence of potential sub-organizations in Germany could not be destroyed when this ban was announced.”
“The activities of Hezbollah violate criminal law and the organization opposes the concept of international understanding,” it said in a statement.
“As the authority responsible for issuing the ban, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building, and Community is of the opinion that Hezbollah openly calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist,” the ministry said in the statement.
The statement also said that Hezbollah symbols are now banned at gatherings and in publications or in the media. Hezbollah’s assets can be confiscated, but becauseSince there is no formal German branch of Hezbollah, the German government cannot outlaw the organization as such
Security officials believe as many as 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah’s extremist wing. German police searched mosques in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen, and Berlin which they believed were associated with Hezbollah. They also searched the private residences of the leaders of each association.
“The organization is therefore fundamentally against the concept of international understanding, regardless of whether it presents itself as a political, social or military structure,” it added.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer made the decision after assessing that the Shia group was behind “a multitude of attacks resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries worldwide”.
IRANIAN THREATS-THANKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
In an overnight statement issued overnight, Iran’s foreign ministry claimed that Berlin ignored the “realities in West Asia” and showed “complete disrespect to the government and nation of Lebanon.”
“The German government must face the negative consequences of its decision in the fight against real terrorist groups in the region,” it added pointing at Hezbollah’s involvement in fighting the Islamic State in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime in Damascus.
“We applaud the German government’s actions today against suspected Hizballah supporters. The government’s decision to act reflects the resolve of the West to confront the global threat posed by Hizballah,” the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said in a statement.
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz called the ban “a valuable and significant step in the global fight against terrorism.”
“I call on additional European countries and the European Union to adopt this necessary policy and to recognize the organization for what it is: Hezbollah — both its military and political wings — constitutes a terror organization, and that is how it must be treated,” Katz said in a statement.
GERMANY”S MOTIVATION: PERHAPS (SUDDEN LACK OF) IRANIAN MONEY
In an op-ed published on The Daily Wire, Shoshana Bryen noted that many German politicians advocated political ties with Hezbollah in order to maintain relations with Lebanon. Bryen suggested that Germany’s that the somewhat delayed response to Hezbollah violence indicated the real motivation: money. In the wake of the 2016 deal with Iran brokered by former President Barack Obama and the lifting of international fiscal sanctions, Germany became one of Iran’s primary trading partners.
But Bryen noted some current events that made that seem like a pretext. Despite, r perhaps due to its Iranian backing, Lebanese banks recently defaulted or declared that they were depleted of funds, basically declaring bankruptcy as a national entity.
“With the Beirut government in default on its debts and facing revolution in the streets, allowing terrorist cells to operate in Germany seems unduly sympathetic,” Bryen commented cynically. “But Hezbollah is a subsidiary of Iran, and through a different prism, Germany’s decision may be the reordering of its relationship with Tehran under the stresses of U.S.-led sanctions, plus the Russia-Saudi oil price war, the Wuhan virus, and the not-often-mentioned rebellion that has been going on in the Islamic Republic since late 2017. In other words, through the prism of money and a distinct unconcern for the people who suffer under tyrannical rule.”
“Five years after it assumed the role of Iran’s partner, it may be that without the lure of profits and after many more than five years of watching the Iranian – and Lebanese – people suffer at the hands of terrorist leadership, Germany has decided to change course, first by dumping Hezbollah,” Bryen concluded.
HEZBOLLAH: AMERICAN BLOOD ON ITS HANDS
Hezbollah, meaning the ‘Party of Allah’, is a Shia Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon. The group is designated as a terrorist organization by some countries including the U.S., UK, and Canada. The United Nations Security Council has never listed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization under its sanctions list, although some of its members have done so individually. French President Emmanuel Macron made clear last year that he would continue to have contact with Hezbollah’s political wing and last month, France donated four navy frigates to Lebanon.
Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran in the ongoing Iran–Israel proxy conflict. Its leaders were followers of Ayatollah Khomeini, and its forces were trained and organized by a contingent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that arrived from Iran with permission from the Syrian government, which was in occupation of Lebanon at the time. Hezbollah’s 1985 manifesto listed its objectives as the expulsion of “the Americans, the French and their allies definitely from Lebanon, putting an end to any colonialist entity on our land”, submission of the Christian Phalangists to “just power” and bringing them to justice “for the crimes they have perpetrated against Muslims and Christians” and permitting “all the sons of our people” to choose the form of government they want while calling on them to “pick the option of Islamic government”.
Hezbollah was linked to the April 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing (by the Islamic Jihad Organization), that killed 241 U.S. marines, 58 French paratroopers and 6 civilians at the US and French barracks in Beirut, the 1984 United States embassy Beirut annex bombing, killing 24, and many other attacks. Hezbollah also trained Shia insurgents against US troops during the Iraq War. Although Hezbollah and Hamas are not organizationally linked, Hezbollah provides military training as well as financial and moral support to the Sunni Palestinian group. Furthermore, Hezbollah is a strong supporter of the ongoing Al-Aqsa Intifada. American and Israeli counter-terrorism officials claim that Hezbollah has (or had) links to Al Qaeda.
Source: Israel in the News