Germany designated Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization on Thursday and banned all activity by the group on its soil, a move long urged by Israel and the United States.
Police conducted early-morning raids on mosques across Germany linked with the group, according to Reuters. Following the ruling, Hezbollah symbols and flags are now banned in public and in the media.
“The activities of Hezbollah violate criminal law and the organization opposes the concept of international understanding,” Germany’s interior ministry said in a statement, adding that the group’s assets can now be confiscated.
Security officials estimate that 1,050 people in Germany are part of the terror group.
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Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the move, calling it “a very important decision and a valuable and significant step in the global fight against terrorism,” according to the report.
“I call on other European countries, as well as the European Union, to do the same. All parts of Hezbollah, including the social, political and military wings, are terror organizations, and they should be treated as such,” he added.
The European Union classifies only Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization, but not its political wing, despite the fact that both are part of the same organization. The United Kingdom began the legislative process for classifying the group as a terrorist organization in February of last year.
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