Hezbollah chief lashes out at Israel, US over ban by Germany

Hezbollah chief lashes out at Israel, US over ban by Germany

Nasrallah calls German decision to outlaw his group a ‘political decision,’ denies its members are active in the country

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Monday condemned Germany’s ban on his group as a capitulation to US pressure, and insisted it was not active in the country.

Germany designated Hezbollah a “Shiite terrorist organization” on Thursday as its security forces raided mosques and associations linked to the group.

In a televised speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called it a “political decision that reflects Germany’s submission to America’s will and to pleasing Israel.”

“The decision is part of the Israeli-American war in the area. The only one to stand up to the American hegemony and Israeli occupation is the resistance movement,” he said, according to the Ynet news site.

“When we say we are not active in Germany, we are being 100 percent honest,” added the leader of the Iranian-backed group.

Police officers carry boxes of evidence out of the Al-Irschad Mosque in Berlin during a raid on April 30, 2020, as dozens of police and special forces stormed mosques and associations in Germany linked to Hezbollah. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Hezbollah was established in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war and fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel.

The United States and Israel have long designated it a terrorist group and urged allies to follow suit.

Like the European Union, Germany had until last week outlawed only Hezbollah’s military wing while tolerating its political arm, a major force in the Lebanese parliament.

A pro-Palestinian supporter holds up a flag belonging to the Hezbollah group, during a march to protest against Israel in central London, May 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Nasrallah on Monday said he expected more EU countries to follow Germany’s example, even though his movement had ceased activities “across the world, and in Europe especially,” several years ago.

He condemned German authorities for raiding mosques and associations linked to his group, saying “there was no need for these barbaric actions.”

He called on the Lebanese government to protect its nationals in Germany.

The decision to proscribe Hezbollah was hailed by Israel, which reportedly provided Germany with intelligence on the terror group’s activities on German soil ahead of the ban.

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