Germany bans Hamas and PKK flags under new “terror” rules | Hamas News
Officials said that the ban on the Hamas flag was in response to reports of violence and anti-Semitism in German demonstrations.
The Lower House of the German Bundestag passed a law to ban the symbols of groups designated by the European Union as terrorist organizations, including the Palestinian movement Hamas.
The new law passed on Friday still needs to be approved by the upper house of the Federal Senate. It also bans the symbol of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is classified as a “terrorist” organization by Turkey and its Western allies.
Previously, only the signs of organizations banned by Germany were banned.
The move took place after several pro-Palestinian rallies held in Germany during the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in May, during which incidents of violence and anti-Semitism took place.
Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union’s MP Torsten Frey told Le Monde last week that the government wants to ban the Hamas flag in response to the demonstrations.
“We don’t want the banner of terrorist organizations to fly on German soil,” he said, adding that the ban will “send a clear signal to our Jewish citizens.”
In May, during the 11-day battle between Israel and Hamas, several demonstrations took place in Germany. Some protesters chanted anti-Semitic slogans, burned Israeli flags, and destroyed the entrance of the synagogue with stones.
In a protest in Berlin, protesters threw stones, bottles and fireworks. 59 people were arrested and dozens of policemen were injured.
The German Jewish Central Committee stated that it received “the worst flood of anti-Semitism insults” on social media.
City Council Chairman Joseph Schuster urged the police to take a hard line on anti-Semitism, saying that these incidents “reminiscent of the darkest period in German history.”
The Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (Horst Seehofer) stated that Germany will severely crack down on anyone found to spread “anti-Semitic hatred.”
“We will not tolerate the burning of Israeli flags and attacks on Jewish institutions on German soil,” he told Bild.