The German Parliament officially passed a motion on Thursday, December 19, 2019, urging Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to ban all activities by the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Germany, insisting its “terrorist activities,” particularly those currently being undertaken in Syria, are the main reason for this motion.
The motion was quite unanimously backed by Merkel’s conservatives, their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition, as well as their opposition: the Free Democrats. This motion is not binding but will go on official record and in turn press the German government to act accordingly.
The motion basically entailed that Germany must dismiss its current policy of distinguishing between Hezbollah’s political arm (officially elected into the Lebanese Government) and its military/militia units, which continue to fight alongside President Bashar Al Assad’s forces in the ongoing Syrian crisis.
The motion stated that the lower house “calls on the government to ban Hezbollah and not tolerate any activity by its representatives in Germany.”
The motion subsequently went on to praise the government undertaken efforts to stop Hezbollah supporters who are suspected of raising funds for the group in Germany. However, it insisted those measures were just not sufficient in the battle against “terror.”
U.S. and Israeli governments have been urging Germany to ban Hezbollah altogether, dismissing the fact that its political/partisan and military/militia are entities, which should be dealt with separately.
On another note, Britain introduced legislation in February 2019 which classified Hezbollah as a “terrorist organization,” citing its “military activities in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen” as the reasoning behind this classification.
On a larger scale, the European Union still only considers Hezbollah’s military wing as a “terrorist organization” and not its political/partisan arm with representatives in the Lebanese Government.
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