Germany bans support for Hamas

Germany announced a ban Thursday on all Hamas supported activity in the country. File Photo by Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE
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Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Germany has announced a total ban on activity by Hamas and groups that support it and will dissolve a group that was responsible for a celebration of the terror group's surprise attack of Israel on Oct. 7.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser put the ban into effect Thursday and announced she is also dissolving the German branch of the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, which she said "supports and glorifies" groups including Hamas, listed by the European Union as a terrorist group.

"With Hamas, I have today completely banned the activities of a terrorist organization whose aim is to destroy the state of Israel," Faeser said as she announced the ban.

Samidoun was behind an event Oct. 7 during which Hamas sympathizers handed out pastries in a Berlin street in celebration of the attack on Israel, which saw 3,000 terrorists cross the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing 1,400 people and seizing more than 240 hostages.

"Holding spontaneous 'jubilant celebrations' here in Germany in response to Hamas' terrible terrorist attacks against Israel demonstrates Samidoun's anti-Semitic, inhuman worldview in a particularly sickening way," Faeser said, Deutsche Welle reported.

Samidoun then published a "Calendar of Resistance for Palestine" on its website, with links to events around the world celebrating the terror attack and calling for "all Palestinian, Arab and international supporters of Palestine to escalate their organizing and struggle to stand with the heroic Palestinian resistance and confront colonial Zionist violence and imperialist complicity."

Faeser said her ministry will work tirelessly to uphold the ban on activity supportive of Hamas and work "day and night" to dissolve Samidoun quickly. Her government is supportive and unified.

"All instruments of assembly law must be used to prevent solidarity demonstrations with the terror of Hamas as early as possible," a representative of the German Interior Ministry previously told Al Jazeera.

A Hamas official in Lebanon said Germany's ban proves the country is in partnership with Israel on crimes against Palestinian people.

"This prompts us to question whether the German political mentality is a Holocaust mentality that affects all peoples and is not limited to one party or another," Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative, said in a news conference Thursday.

After warnings from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his country would retaliate for the Oct. 7 attack, and calls for civilians to leave, Israel has bombarded Gaza relentlessly and tightened its blockade on the territory, cutting off supplies of fuel and severely restricting water, food and electricity access.

The U.S. State Department announced support for Germany's action.

"The United States welcomes Germany's decision to ban activities supporting Hamas, which builds on the EU's designation to fully restrict and criminalize support of the terrorist group," department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

"We will continue to work with allies and partners around the world to counter Hamas and other deadly terrorist organizations. Palestinians are not to blame and should not continue to suffer for Hamas' horrific terrorist attacks. Hamas does not represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people, who deserve to live in safety, dignity and peace," he said.

Gaza authorities have said more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed in the attacks, including 3,760 children.