German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Thursday banned Hezbollah activities in the country, his ministry spokesman said on Twitter.
He also confirmed that “police measures are underway in several federal states concurrently,” and added that even in times of crisis, the “rule of law is able to act.”
Police conducted early morning raids in Germany to detain suspected members of the group. Security officials believe up to 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah’s military wing.
Germany had previously distinguished between Hezbollah’s political arm and its military units.
Last December, Germany’s parliament approved a motion urging Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to ban all activities by Hezbollah on German soil, citing its “terrorist activities” especially in Syria.
On a trip to Berlin last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Germany would follow Britain in banning Hezbollah. Britain introduced legislation in February of last year that classified the group as a terrorist organization.
Israel on Thursday applauded Germany’s decision as “a significant step in the global fight against terrorism.”
“It is a very important decision,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a statement, urging the European Union “to do the same.”