German Security Forces Search Properties Because of Alleged Links to Hamas - Latest Global News

German Security Forces Search Properties Because of Alleged Links to Hamas

Security forces searched four properties in the western German city of Duisburg on Thursday morning as part of an operation against the group Palestine Solidarity Duisburg, which is accused of supporting the Palestinian militant organization Hamas.

The raid comes after the Interior Ministry of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday also banned the group, known in German as Palestine Solidarity Duisburg.

“This ban comes at the right time and sends the right signal,” State Interior Minister Herbert Reul said in a statement. “In many cases, solidarity with Palestine hides nothing other than hatred of Jews – this is also the case with the organization that is banned today.”

According to the ministry, Palestine Solidarity Duisburg is an organization that has set itself the task of carrying out Palestine solidarity work, especially in Duisburg, but also throughout Germany.

The group seeks the liberation of Palestine within the 1947 borders, before the founding of the State of Israel. This expressly shows solidarity with the Palestinian resistance in all its forms, which also includes Hamas’ armed struggle against Israel, the ministry explained.

The group’s ideological orientation is “characterized by an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic worldview,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Palestine Solidarity Duisburg continually incites against the state of Israel and holds it solely responsible for the Middle East conflict,” the statement said. “In doing so, it spreads hatred and violence in the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and, last but not least, endangers the life and limb of compatriots and Jews living in Germany.”

The ban will see the groups’ assets confiscated and any online presence or social media activity of the organization banned.

Since Hamas’ deadly October 7 attacks on Israel that sparked the war in Gaza, there has been a rise in anti-Semitic crime and fears have grown for the safety of Jews in Germany.

At the beginning of November, the federal government issued a ban on all activities of Hamas, which has already been classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union. The move made it easier for police to intervene at rallies in support of Palestinians.

The German domestic secret service estimates the number of Hamas activists living in the country at 450. So far, their activities have been limited to spreading propaganda and collecting donations.

Germany is one of Israel’s strongest allies, and political leaders in Berlin have repeatedly said after the Oct. 7 attacks that Israel has a right to self-defense.

Domestically, authorities moved quickly to crack down on pro-Palestinian protests, citing fears of anti-Semitism. Critics said the current climate had led to a suppression of pro-Palestinian voices.

A German police officer carries a box of confiscated items after an apartment search as part of an operation against a group that allegedly supports Hamas.  The raid comes as the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia also banned the Palestine Solidarity Duisburg on May 16th.  David Young/dpa

A German police officer carries a box of confiscated items after an apartment search as part of an operation against a group that allegedly supports Hamas. The raid comes as the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia also banned the Palestine Solidarity Duisburg on May 16th. David Young/dpa

German police load a box of confiscated items into a car after an apartment search as part of a crackdown on a group that allegedly supports Hamas.  The raid comes as the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia also banned the Palestine Solidarity Duisburg on May 16th.  David Young/dpaGerman police load a box of confiscated items into a car after an apartment search as part of a crackdown on a group that allegedly supports Hamas.  The raid comes as the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia also banned the Palestine Solidarity Duisburg on May 16th.  David Young/dpa

German police load a box of confiscated items into a car after an apartment search as part of a crackdown on a group that allegedly supports Hamas. The raid comes as the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia also banned the Palestine Solidarity Duisburg on May 16th. David Young/dpa

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