Germany has banned all Iran-backed Hezbollah activity on its soil and named it a terrorist organisation, the Interior Ministry announced on Thursday.
Police also directed early morning raids on mosque associations in four cities across Germany. Security officials believe up to 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah’s extremist wing.
Israel and the United States had been pushing Germany to ban the organisation. Germany had previously distinguished between Hezbollah’s political arm and its military units, which have fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s army in Syria.
A spokesman said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had banned the activities of Hezbollah.
“Even in times of crisis, the rule of law is capable of acting,” tweeted the spokesman.
A heavily armed Shi’ite Islamist group already designated a terrorist organisation by the United States, Hezbollah is also a significant backer of the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which took office in January.
Jewish groups hailed the move as a landmark decision.
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