Lawmakers urge Berlin to ban Hezbollah, PFLP

Lawmakers urge Berlin to ban Hezbollah, PFLP

Parliamentarians call on German interior minister to prohibit activities of groups designated by EU as ‘terrorist organizations’

Al-Quds Day Parade in Berlin, 2014. (CC BY-SA Denis Barthel, Wikimedia Commons)
Al-Quds Day Parade in Berlin, 2014. (CC BY-SA Denis Barthel, Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli and German lawmakers sent a letter to Berlin’s interior minister on Monday calling on him to block the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) from holding events in Berlin.

The letter called on Thomas de Maizière “to take the necessary steps to ensure that Hezbollah, the PFLP and their supporters will no longer be able to act and appear publicly within Germany.”

The groups both openly participated in June’s Al-Quds Day parade in the German capital.

The parliamentarians also asked Maizière to outlaw the groups. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organizations by the European Union, as is Hezbollah’s military wing, though not its political branch.

“We ask you to consider a ban of the organizations, a complete prohibition of their activity and to take the appropriate measures concerning the federal states,” they wrote.

“The European Union designates both, PFLP and Hezbollah-Militia, as terrorist organizations,” the letter stated. “It is unacceptable that terrorist organizations in Germany are planning events and recruiting supporters while the responsible authorities do not have any legal tools to prevent it.”

Germany has suffered from several terrorist attacks in the past year, including an attack in Berlin on Christmas Day that killed 12 people, claimed by the Islamic State terror group.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said in December that “Islamist terrorism” is the greatest challenge facing Germany.

The lawmakers stated that the goals and methods of terror are the same, and that both Israel and Germany should work together to combat it.

“These past years have seen both the German and Israeli people suffer at the hand of terrorism,” the letter stated. “The methods have been the same, the ideology of hatred for our way of life has been the same and, tragically, the results have been the same. Both our people understand the pain caused by terrorism and understand that we cannot fight terrorism on our own.”

The letter was signed by five Knesset members — former finance minister Yair Lapid and Aliza Lavie of the Yesh Atid party, Labor’s Nachman Shai, who co-chairs the Israel-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group, Meirav Ben Ari of Kulanu and Likud’s Amir Ohana.

Six members of Germany’s Bundestag signed the letter — Volker Beck, former head of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group, Sven-Christian Kindler, Vice-President of the German-Israeli Society, Michaela Engelmeier of SDP, Michael Leutert of The Left Party, Gitta Connemann and Roderich Kiesewetter of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

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