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Hundreds of German police officers raid homes of Hamas followers across the country

German police officers carry evidence collected at an apartment building during a raid against people supporting Hamas (Reuters)
German police officers carry evidence collected at an apartment building during a raid against people supporting Hamas (Reuters)

Hundreds of police officers searched the properties of Hamas followers in Germany, after any activity by or in support of the militant group was banned.

Some 17 homes in the southern state of Bavaria were raided on Thursday morning, after the people living there were accused of spreading anti-Semitic hate speech and threats targeting Jews online.

The searches took place in mostly Berlin (15 of them) while the others took place in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.

Seven searches were related to Hamas and four to Samidoun. The searches mainly took place at the homes of supporters and the premises of a Palestinian association, German news agency dpa reported.

The action was taken to enforce the bans and to further investigate the groups, the German interior ministry said in a statement.

It comes after the German government implemented its new ban on November 2, and dissolved Samidoun - a group that was behind a celebration in Berlin of Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel.

Germany's domestic intelligence service estimates that Hamas has around 450 members in the country.

Their activities range from expressions of sympathy and propaganda activities to financing and fundraising activities to strengthen the organisation abroad."We are continuing our consistent action against radical Islamists," German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said. "By banning Hamas and Samidoun in Germany, we have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of Hamas' barbaric terror against Israel."

Germany's Interrior Minister said: 'We have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of Hamas' barbaric terror' (Reuters)
Germany's Interrior Minister said: 'We have sent a clear signal that we will not tolerate any glorification or support of Hamas' barbaric terror' (Reuters)

On November 16, German police raided 54 locations across the country in an investigation of a Hamburg-based organization suspected of promoting the Iranian leadership's ideology and possibly supporting activities of Hezbollah in Germany.

"We are keeping a close eye on the Islamist scene," Faeser said. "Islamists and antisemites cannot and must not feel safe anywhere here."

She said the members and supporters of Hamas in Germany are also committed to influencing the political and social discourse in the country.

Germany has been clamping down on groups supporting antisemitism in the wake of the latest Israel-Hamas war.

Hamas has vowed to annihilate Israel and has been responsible for many suicide bombings and other deadly attacks on civilians and Israeli soldiers. After the group's incursion into Israel in October, Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas.The US State Department designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1997. The European Union and other Western countries also consider it a terrorist organisation.