Germany's parliament passes motion to ban all Hezbollah activities
Mathias Middelberg, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in parliament, said the joint resolution was agreed upon with the junior coalition Social Democrats, as well as the opposition Free Democrats.
"It is unacceptable that Hezbollah is waging a terrorist fight against Israel in the Middle East, which is being financed through worldwide criminal activities, among other things," Mathias Middelberg, the spokesman for Merkel's conservatives in parliament said in a statement.
"In view of Germany's special responsibility toward Israel, we call on the government to ban all activities for Hezbollah in Germany."
The EU currently lists Hezbollah's military wing as a banned terrorist group, but not its political wing.
"The separation between a political and a military arm should be abandoned, and Hezbollah as a whole should be placed on the EU terrorist list," Middelberg said. "This could freeze Hezbollah's funds and assets in Europe more extensively than before."
Read more: UK to ban Hezbollah's political wing under anti-terror laws
It was not immediately clear whether the resolution would prompt the government to pursue the ban of Hezbollah's activities. But with the governing parties and most of the opposition on board, such action seemed likely.
|Britain banned Hezbollah in March following moves of other nations, including the Netherlands, the United States and Canada|
Johann Wadephul, a lawmaker with Merkel's Christian Democrats, offered assurance that the resolution's call for measures to reduce the influence of Hezbollah in the region, particularly in Syria, did not foresee military action.
"But we are all called upon to isolate Hezbollah internationally," Wadephul told fellow lawmakers. "They threaten Israel, they threaten the peace process in the Mideast and therefore we must confront Hezbollah."
Read more: Hezbollah and Hamas: Israel's monopoly on defining 'terrorism'
The ban would allow authorities to prevent Hezbollah supporters from staging an annual anti-Israel march in Berlin.
The Left Party did not vote for the resolution, saying adding Hezbollah to the EU terrorist list could complicate relations with Lebanon.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas acknowledged that with Hezbollah's ties to Lebanese government "the political reality in Lebanon is complex," but he said "this should not prevent us from exhausting the legal possibilities in Germany to tackle Hezbollah's criminal and terrorist activities."
"Hezbollah denies Israel's right to exist, threatens violence and terror, and continues to massively increase its arsenal of missiles," Maas said.
Green party members said they agree with nearly all of the resolution but objected to a point they say could lead to "military intervention" in the Middle East.
The German resolution comes as the US has been increasing its pressure on Hezbollah, placing several sets of sanctions on the group and its regional backer, Iran.
The UK banned Hezbollah in March following moves of other nations, including the Netherlands, the US and Canada.