Germany has joined the growing list of nations that has fully banned Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist organisation based in Lebanon.

The announcement was made on Thursday morning by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who ordered that Hezbollah’s activities be banned due to violations of criminal law.

The ban comes because Hezbollah is a terrorist group, and also because it “calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist.

Ministry documents quote Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others at length in demonstrating the Shi’ite terrorist group’s aim of destroying Israel.

“The organization is therefore fundamentally against the concept of international understanding, regardless of whether it presents itself as a political, social or military structure,” the ministry said.

“Its violent denial of the right to exist of the State of Israel also fundamentally opposes Germany’s national ethos,” another Interior Ministry document states.

According to the German Ministry of the Interior, the ban means Hezbollah symbols cannot be shown at gatherings and in publications or in the media and Hezbollah assets can be seized.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the decision, saying it is “very important and values-based.”

Banning Hezbollah is “significant in the world battle against terror,” Katz added. “I want to express my appreciation to the German government for this step and am certain many governments in the Middle East and victims of Hezbollah’s terrorism share my gratitude.”

Katz called on additional European states and the EU to follow Germany’s lead and say that “Hezbollah, its military and political arms, is a terrorist organization and must be treated that way.”

Following the ban, police in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Berlin began searches in mosques and residences tied to Hezbollah, “due to their financial support and propaganda for the terrorist organisation.”

Iran reacted strongly, condemning Germany for the move.

“It appears that certain countries in Europe are adopting their stances without considering the realities in the West Asia region and by paying regard only to the objectives of the propaganda machine of the Zionist regime and the confused US regime,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi said in a statement late on Thursday.

He argued that the group was “an official and legitimate” member of the Lebanese government and a force of “political stability”. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Lebanon’s economy and its people have been strangled by the influence of Hezbollah since the group gained a foothold in the nation. They have brutally crushed any rebellion to their cause and funnelled money to terrorist aims, choosing to focus their attention on the destruction of Israel instead of helping their own people. Hezbollah is funded by Iran and their leadership is under the direct command of the Iranian regime.

Last year the UK banned the terror group in full, ending support for the terrorist group on the streets of Britain and giving police powers to prosecute those who expressed support in public.

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