All parties in the German governing grand coalition have agreed to ban the flag of the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, the Welt am Sonntag the newspaper said in a report released on Sunday.
The move comes after several anti-Semitic incidents in Germany last month during anti-Israel rallies.
What did the German government say about the ban?
A proposal to ban the flag was originally put forward by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
“We do not want the flags of terrorist organizations to be waved on German soil,” said Thorsten Frei, deputy parliamentary spokesperson for the CDU and its sister Bavarian party, the Christian Social Union.
The center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), a coalition partner of the CDU, raised constitutional concerns about the proposal, but then backed the initiative.
âI am very happy that the SPD has joined our initiative. In doing so, we can send a clear signal to our Jewish citizens, âadded Frei, according to the Welt am Sonntag.
CDU candidate chancellor Armin Laschet also called for a ban on Hamas’s flag last month in response to anti-Semitic activities in Germany.
Synagogues were attacked, Israeli flags were burnt and anti-Semitic slurs were used in cities across Germany in May amid protests against Israel’s 11-day war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Has the German government already taken similar measures?
The German government has taken similar action against other anti-Israel groups in the Middle East.
The German Interior Ministry announced in April last year that it would ban the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and designate it as a terrorist organization. The move made public support for Hezbollah illegal, including waving the group’s flag.
The US and the EU, including Germany, have also branded Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist organizations.
Hamas, whose name is the Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement, was established in 1987. The group became the de facto government authority of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and has since waged several wars with Israel.