The movement to ban the Hamas flag is in response to reports of violence and anti-Semitism in demonstrations in Germany, officials say.
The lower house of parliament of the Bundestag in Germany has passed a law banning the symbols of groups designated by terrorist organizations from the European Union, including the Palestinian movement, Hamas.
The new law last Friday, which must still be approved by the Bundesrat upper house, also bans symbols of the Kurdistan Workers ’Party (PKK), which is listed as a“ terrorist ”group by Turkey. and its Western allies.
Previously, only symbols of organizations banned by Germany had been banned.
The move comes after several pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Germany during the escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict in May, during which there were cases of violence and anti-Semitism.
Thorsten Frei, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union lawmaker, told the newspaper Die Welt last week that the government wanted to ban the Hamas flag in response to the protests.
“We do not want the flags of terrorist organizations to be unfurled on German soil,” he said, adding that a ban would send “a clear signal to our Jewish citizens.”
Germany saw several demonstrations during 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in May, with some protesters shouting anti-Semitic slogans, burning Israeli flags and damaging the entrance to a synagogue with stones.
At a rally in Berlin, 59 people were arrested and dozens of police officers injured while protesters threw stones, bottles and fireworks.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany said it had received “a torrent of the most vile anti-Semitic insults” on social media.
Council President Josef Schuster ordered police to take a hard line against anti-Semitism and said the events were “reminiscent of the darkest times in German history”.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Germany would harshly crack down on all those who are spreading “anti-Semitic hatred”.
“We will not tolerate Israeli flags flying over German soil and Jewish institutions being attacked,” he told Bild am Sonntag.