Berlin (AP) – Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has banned three associations that allegedly raised money in Germany for the foundation of the pro-Iranian Shia movement Hezbollah in Lebanon.
As Ministry spokesman Steve Alter announced, the ban on the German Lebanese Family, People for People and Gib Frieden associations, which had already been pronounced on April 15, ended with searches and seizures in Bremen. , Hesse and Hamburg on Wednesday, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein and Rhineland-Palatinate.
“Those who support terrorism will not be safe in Germany,” Seehofer said, as his spokesman announced on Twitter. “Regardless of the attire in which his supporters appear, they will not find refuge in our country,” added the minister, who is currently in quarantine for a corona infection.
The three banned associations are said to have collected donations and arranged sponsorship for Hezbollah “martyr families”. The clubs’ aim was to promote Hezbollah’s fight against Israel, which goes against the idea of international understanding, the ministry said. The certainty that the next of kin would receive financial support upon their death increases the willingness of young Hezbollah supporters to participate in the fight against Israel.
According to the assessment of the security authorities, the three associations had been set up to replace the association «Orphans Project Lebanon». The then Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) banned it in 2014.
Hezbollah is a party in Lebanon with its own TV station, charity projects and its own well-equipped militia. It is financially supported by Iran and with the supply of weapons. For the movement, whose militia fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the Syrian conflict, Germany is not a place of action, but a place of withdrawal, according to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. In the last published report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the potential of Hezbollah in this country was estimated at about 1,050 people. Interior Minister Seehofer had banned Hezbollah in March 2020.