Hundreds of German police officers searched 15 properties linked to members and supporters of Hamas on Thursday, after a recent ban on the activities of the Palestinian militant group.
German authorities searched the properties of Hamas members, supporters and sympathisers on Thursday morning following an official ban on any activity by or in support of the Palestinian militant group.
The formal ban was implemented on 2 November. On the same day, Samidoun, a group which had celebrated Hamas’ 7 October attacks on Israel in Berlin, was officially dissolved.
“We are continuing our consistent action against radical Islamists,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said. “By banning Hamas and Samidoun in Germany, we have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of Hamas’ barbaric terror against Israel,” she added.
According to German authorities, Hamas has about 450 members in the country, whose activities include expressions of sympathy, propaganda activities, financing and fundraising for the militant group.
Most of Thursday’s raids – which started at 6am local time – took place in the German capital, where 11 locations were raided by more than 300 police officers. Seven of the locations were linked to Hamas and four to Samidoun. Other searches occurred in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.
German officials had taken previous actions this week in their attempts at cracking down on antisemitism in the country. On Tuesday, police raided the homes of 17 people in the southern state of Bavaria accused of spreading antisemitic hate speech and threats against the Jewish community.
“We are keeping a close eye on the Islamist scene,” Faeser said of the searches. “Islamists and antisemites cannot and must not feel safe anywhere here.”