Germany has denied media reports that it intends to impose a complete ban on the Lebanese movement Hezbollah in its entirety.
Interior Ministry spokesperson Steve Alter announced on Twitter Friday that “an alleged government decision on a ban on Hezbollah” could not be confirmed, rebutting a report by Germany’s leading news weekly Der Spiegel.
On Thursday, Der Spiegel claimed it had “learned from government circles” that the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Justice had reached an agreement in the previous week to designate the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in line with the official position of the United States, Israel and the Arab League.
Thus far, most EU member states have refrained from branding the political arm of the Lebanese resistance movement as a “terrorist organization”.
Earlier this year, the British government broke with the rest of Europe to designate the entire Hezbollah organization as a terrorist entity.
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said at the time that the UK government was no longer able to maintain a distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military activities and thus would include the group’s political unit in its blacklist.
The political wing of Hezbollah is a democratically elected political party with representation in the Lebanese parliament.
In May 2018, the Hezbollah resistance movement and its political allies secured more than half the seats in the country’s parliamentary elections.
Israel reacted to the results with typical animosity, with the regime’s then education minister Naftali Bennett saying Hezbollah’s gains showed that the Lebanese state was indistinguishable from the group and that Tel Aviv should not distinguish between them in any future war.
Hezbollah’s role in an anti-militancy campaign in Syria has angered Western countries that have, for the past eight years, supported terrorist groups opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Hezbollah has played a major role in helping Assad purge the Syrian territory from terrorist groups.
The resistance group also responds to Israel’s frequent aerial incursions into Lebanon.
Lebanon has been afflicted with political uncertainty following nationwide protests against economic mismanagement and corruption which have led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
The economic protests come as growth in the country has plummeted in the wake of endless political deadlocks and economic woes of a remarkable scale in recent years.