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German police raid target pro-Hamas groups, individuals

German police carried out nationwide raids as part of a crackdown on pro-Hamas groups and individuals, authorities said on Thursday.

The Interior Ministry said the operation targeted suspected members and supporters of Hamas and Samidoun (Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network), the two groups banned in Germany.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said following the government’s decision earlier this month to ban both organizations, they are now taking actions against their propaganda and fundraising activities.

“With the bans on Hamas and Samidoun in Germany, we have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of the barbaric terror of Hamas against Israel,” she said in a statement.

In the early hours of the day, the police raided 15 properties in five federal states in order to enforce the bans and gather evidence on the activities of Hamas and Samidoun, authorities have said.

According to the Interior Ministry, Hamas has around 450 members in Germany, and their activities were largely focused on propaganda and fundraising.

“The members and supporters of Hamas in Germany are also trying to influence the political and social discourse. There have been no violent actions by Hamas in Germany to date,” the ministry said.

The German government has taken a harsher approach against pro-Palestinian groups after the escalation of conflict in Gaza last month, and banned more than a hundred gatherings and demonstrations.

German authorities have claimed that the Samidoun group violated laws by glorifying the attacks carried out by Hamas, “propagating anti-Israeli and antisemitic views,” and “denying Israel’s right to exist.”

The government says Germany bears a historical responsibility for the security of Israel due to the country’s Nazi past and crimes committed against Jews during World War II.

But critics accuse the government of giving a blanket support to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial policies, and turning a blind eye to the war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

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