After entry, Germany bars talk of PFLP terrorist with Hezbollah ties

Pro-Palestinian websites reported that the German authorities banned Barakat from speaking. It is unclear why the German authorities allowed Barakat to enter the country.

July 5, 2019 01:18
3 minute read.
After entry, Germany bars talk of PFLP terrorist with Hezbollah ties

Palestinians take part in a rally organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to celebrate the 43rd anniversary of its founding in the West Bank city of Ramallah December 18, 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

The German government permitted Khaled Barakat, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – a US- and EU-designated terrorist organization – to enter the federal republic in 2018 but pulled the plug on his speaking engagements in June.

According to the Palestine Chronicle website, Barakat has lived in Berlin for 18 months, “while his wife [Charlotte Keats] is an international coordinator for Samidoun – a Palestinian media group that supports Palestinian prisoners.” The German authorities rejected an extension of Barakat’s visa, but it is unclear when he will leave the federal republic.

“The German police detained Barakat on Saturday as he headed to an event about Palestine, which had been organized by a number of Arab communities in the German capital,” The Palestine Chronicle wrote. Barakat reportedly works as a freelance writer.

Citing Arab 48 (an Arabic news website), the Chronicle said “the German police informed Barakat that he is now banned from taking part in any political or cultural events, as well as family meetings with more than 10 attendees. If he breaks these restrictions, he will be detained for one year and forced to pay a fine.”

Barakat has also been accused of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

“Especially in light of the Bundestag’s recent declaration that BDS is indeed a form of antisemitism, it is encouraging to see that authorities in Germany are actively treating boycott and other delegitimization efforts like the bigotry that they truly are,” Olga Deutsch, vice president of NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post by email on Tuesday. “The case of Barakat is especially relevant because his group, Samidoun, is not merely an agitator for political attacks on the Jewish state, but because it is also linked to the EU- and US-designated terror group PFLP. Samidoun is actually part of a network of NGOs connected to that Palestinian terror group, many of which have recently had European government funding cut. We hope that Barakat serves to highlight the work yet to be done in combating these radical, anti-peace groups.”

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post on Tuesday that “the recent decision by the German authorities to permit the entry of PFLP operative Khaled Barakat to Germany, but to prohibit him from speaking publicly, is a foolish attempt to try and please all sides of the conflict. If Barakat can’t speak publicly in Germany, that ban does not prevent him from meeting local supporters of terror, enlisting new members in the PFLP, raising money to finance terror and who knows what else.”

Zuroff added that “as has been the case very often under the current German government, decisions are designed to try and satisfy all sides and ultimately play into the hands of Israel’s enemies. If Israel’s security is indeed a national interest of the Federal Republic, Hezbollah and PFLP would have already been declared terrorist organizations years ago.”

Pro-Palestinian websites first reported that German authorities banned Barakat from speaking. It is unclear why the German authorities allowed Barakat to enter the country. The Post sent media queries on Tuesday to the German Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries.
According to the 2019 Ministry of Strategic Affairs report “Terrorists in Suits,” Barakat is “a PFLP Central Committee member in Lebanon.”

The report noted that Barakat arranged for the PFLP operative Mustapha Awad “to begin his military training in 2015 in Lebanon with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization designated by the US, Canada and the Arab League (excluding Lebanon and Iraq), the Netherlands and Japan. The military wing of Hezbollah is recognized as a terrorist organization by the European Union, UK, France and New Zealand. Awad also took part in a 2015 meeting in Germany with PFLP operatives, during which they discussed how to revamp the organizations activities.”

The report said that “Mustapha Awad – a PFLP operative trained by Hezbollah – was recently sentenced by Israel to one year in prison for transferring funds between countries for terrorists and maintaining ties with terror organizations. Awad is an activist in the North American-based NGO Samidoun, which works in close coordination with the PFLP for the release of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and supports the BDS campaign.”

Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has refused to outlaw Hezbollah and the PFLP. According to a German intelligence report reviewed by the Post, there are 1,050 Hezbollah operatives in Germany who raise funds and recruit new members. Hezbollah operatives also spread jihadi and antisemitic ideologies.

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