Hezbollah membership increasing in Germany ahead of the ban vote
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Affected Countries: germany;
A non-binding German Bundestag initiative slated on Thursday to ban activities of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah in the federal republic revealed that the number of Hezbollah operatives is increasing.
According to the resolution titled “Effective action against Hezbollah” reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, “the followers of [Hezbollah] are around 1,000 people in Germany since a number of years and have showed recently a rising trend.”
According to German intelligence reports, there are as many as 1,050 documented Hezbollah members and 30 mosques and centers operated by Hezbollah supporters.
“In Germany there are currently about 30 known cultural and mosque associations in which a clientele regularly meets that is close to Hezbollah or its ideology,” the city-state of Hamburg’s intelligence agency stated in 2019.
The Bundestag anti-Hezbollah resolution states that Germany’s federal Attorney General in 2018 has launched 36 investigations into individuals linked to Hezbollah. Germany is a principal hub for Hezbollah’s illicit activities, including fundraising for its parent organization in Lebanon, as well as narcotics dealing.
Hezbollah recruits new members in Germany and spreads its antisemitic and jihadist ideology across the country. The US, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel and the Arab League have designated Hezbollah’s entire movement a terrorist organization. Sudan reportedly will close Hezbollah’s office in the North African country.
In 2013, Germany and the European Union merely proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a terrorist entity after Hezbollah in 2012 blew up an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, murdering five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver.
The Post has learned that in every meeting with German officials, US ambassador Richard Grenell raises the need for Berlin to ban all of Hezbollah. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vehemently rejected a full ban of Hezbollah in Germany.
The current resolution against Hezbollah was authored by four mainstream parties in the Bundestag: The Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union, the Social Democratic Party, and the Free Democratic Party.
It is unclear if Merkel will adopt the ban of Hezbollah activities in Germany. A German diplomatic official said in 2018 that a ban of Hezbollah is linked with the resolution of the Israel-Palestinian peace process.