The German government responded Sunday to a rise in antisemitic attacks by banning flags of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
The move was spurred by numerous anti-Israel riots in Berlin, Hamburg and other German cities in May of this year, the Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported.
A proposal to ban the flag was originally advanced by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Thorsten Frei, the deputy parliamentary spokesperson for the CDU, stated: “We do not want the flags of terrorist organizations to be waved on German soil.”
The SPD parliamentary group then referred to constitutional concerns of the federal government.
“The desired solution in the StGB raises a number of difficult legal questions,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice announced on Wednesday at the request of Welt am Sonntag.
Now government factions have agreed on a ban after all and tackled Hamas, a group founded on the principle of the total destruction of Israel, and regularly threatens to annihilate the Jewish state.
Let this sink in: Hamas leaders use Twitter to encourage violence against Israel while former President Trump is permanently banned. https://t.co/vR8aUcltmC
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 14, 2021
“We do not want the flags to be waved by terrorist organizations on German soil,” said Union parliamentary group vice-chairman Thorsten Frei (CDU).
Hamas opponents cited the need for the rule of law to give the antisemitic demonstrations in May a quick and firm response. “I am very pleased that the SPD has joined our initiative. In doing so, we are also sending a clear signal to our Jewish citizens, ” Frei added.
Hamas is one of several Palestinian groups listed by the European Union, Israel, and the U.S. as terrorist entities.
This is who Hamas is. https://t.co/YNDh8nBLej
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 11, 2021
Several German cities saw pro-Palestinian demonstrations during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas last month, prompting Merkel to issue a call for calm, the Times of Israel reports.
Some participants at marches in towns across Germany shouted antisemitic slogans, which Merkel blasted as “unacceptable, ” while others burned Israeli flags and in one case stoned the entrance to a synagogue.
Germany’s Central Council of Jews, which represents about 200,000 Jews living in the country, called for stepped-up protection for Jewish institutions in the country.
Data released last month showed antisemitic crimes rose by more than 15 percent in Germany in 2020, the Times added.
In 2018 Hamas condemned the German parliament for its recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and legitimate homeland.