Israel on Thursday applauded Germany’s decision to ban all activities of the Iran-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah as “a significant step in the global fight against terrorism”.
The German government labelled Hezbollah “a Shiite terrorist organisation” and announced raids on mosques and other associations linked to the group across the country.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz hailed the move as a “very important decision”.
“I call on other European countries as well as the European Union to do the same,” Katz said in a statement.
Until now, Germany had only outlawed Hezbollah’s military wing while tolerating its political wing, which is the current EU policy.
The United States and Israel have long designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the decision.
“All peace-loving countries should reject terrorist organisations and provide them with no direct or indirect assistance,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.
Hezbollah was established in 1982 during Lebanon’s civil war. It is now a major political party in the country, where it holds a majority in parliament along with its allies.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006.
The movement also backs Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war.