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Austria Outlaws Hezbollah, Bans All Activities Linked to the Group

Austria Outlaws Hezbollah, Bans All Activities Linked to the Group

Saturday, 15 May, 2021 - 08:15
German special police leave the El-Irschad (Al-Iraschad e.V.) center in Berlin, Germany, April 30, 2020, after Germany has banned Iran-backed Hezbollah on its soil and designated it a terrorist organization. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Austria banned Hezbollah in its entirety this week, joining other European countries in outlawing the Lebanese group’s military arm.

The ban outlaws all Hezbollah-linked activities in Austria, however doesn’t include boycotting the group's political wing in Lebanon.

The ban forbids raising any pro-Hezbollah slogans and symbols or supporting.

“This is a very clear signal,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, after the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to include Hezbollah in a law banning the use of certain symbols.

“This step reflects reality. The group itself makes no distinction between the military and the political arm,” the minister said.

Schallenberg said Hezbollah “poses a serious threat to the stability in the region and the security of Israel. Israel’s right to exist must not be called into question.”

In April, Germany banned all Hezbollah activities in the country and designated it as a “terrorist” organization.

However, it maintained ties with Hezbollah in Lebanon, adding that boycotting it requires a unified European decision.

The European Union (EU) designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and makes a distinction between the military arm and the political arm that is part of the social and political fabric of the Lebanese community.

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