German police raid homes of Hamas members in crackdown on 'glorification of terror'

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Nov. 23 (UPI) -- German federal police mounted dawn raids Thursday on the homes of 15 alleged Hamas members and supporters in Berlin and three other states across the north and west of the country, national security officials said.

Search warrants were also executed at properties linked to the newly banned pro-Palestinian Samidoun organization in a crackdown on Islamic groups authorities believe are a threat to peace and stability in Germany in the wake of Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, the Interior Ministry said in a news release.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution believes there are at least 450 Hamas sympathizers in Germany involved in disseminating propaganda and financing or fund-raising for the group.

The Samidoun Palestinian Solidarity Network, the ministry said, endangered "peaceful coexistence, advocates the use of violence as a means of asserting political interests and supports associations that advocate and threaten attacks."

Neither of the groups, both of which were banned Nov. 2 by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, has carried out any acts of violence in Germany.

"We are continuing our consistent action against radical Islamists. With the bans on HAMAS and Samidoun in Germany, we have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of the barbaric terror of HAMAS against Israel," Faeser said following Thursday's raids.

"Islamists and anti-Semites cannot and must not feel safe anywhere here. These extremists must expect the full force of the rule of law. We are continuing our consistent action against radical Islamists,"

Faeser, who said Hamas' activities in Germany were illegal and sought to undermine international understanding enshrined in the country's laws, also alleged members and supporters were "committed to influencing the political and social discourse in Germany in the spirit of Hamas."

Samidoun was banned over demonstrations in which Israel's right to exist was "systematically denied" and anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement through chanting "From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free."

The ministry said the "glorification of Hamas' terror" had been particularly serious since its attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.