Germany: Bundestag approves motion urging total ban of Hezbollah activities

The German Bundestag approved a motion to ban the activities of the Lebanese militant and political organization Hezbollah, presented by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), their sister party in Bavaria the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Socialist Democratic Party (SPD) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Berlin on Thursday. Members of Parliament from the right... Еще-wing Alternative for Germany (AFD), the left-wing party Die Linke (The Left) and the Green party abstained from the vote. Thorsten Frei of the CDU spoke in support of the motion, saying “we cannot stand on the sidelines, the fact that a terrorist organization, which disputes the right of existence of Israel and on the other hand fights the country with terroristic means, can abuse Germany as a safe haven, as a logistical center, as a financial hub. We have to stand strong against this.” Member of the Bundestag for the AFD, Beatrix von Storch, claimed that the motion did not go far enough, saying “you [the parties supporting the bill] only want a ban on activities, we want a ban of the whole organization.” Andrej Hunko of the Linke party, however, cited reasons of ongoing hope for peace in the Middle East as the cause for abstaining from the vote, while Irene Mihalic of the Greens called the motion “nothing more than a blank cheque for a military intervention” in the region, saying “that is out of the question.” The motion passed with no votes against. While it is not binding, it will put pressure on the government to act.

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