Hezbollah: 'Zionist Lobby' behind Germany's ban on Al-Manar TV
Berlin bans Al-Manar, saying programming contravenes constitution; station already banned in U.S.
Hezbollah on Saturday blamed the 'Zionist Lobby' in Europe for the decision by Germany's Interior Ministry to stop airing broadcasts of the organizations Al-Manar television station.
According to Abdallah Kasir, the manager of Al-Manar, the Interior Ministry decision came as a result of pressure from the 'Zionist Lobby' and infringes upon international laws protecting freedom of the press.
A spokesman for Germany's Interior Ministry said Friday that the decision to ban the channel was made on grounds that it violates the country's constitution.
Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Beyer said Al-Manar television programming was forbidden under Article 9 of Germany's constitution, which says that organizations cannot operate with the purpose of violating international understanding.
Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ordered the ban on November 11, Beyer said in an e-mailed comment.
Beyer was not more specific on why the ban was instituted, but Hezbollah's Al-Manar television is known to be staunchly anti-Israel and frequently broadcasts footage of Hezbollah fighters.
Beyer did not immediately return a call seeking further comment.
Arabic-language Al-Manar is based in Beirut and broadcasts locally and by satellite.
The station has no physical presence in Germany.
Hezbollah, which has been fighting Israel since the early 1980s, has broad support among Lebanon's Shiite population. Israel and the U.S. consider it a terrorist organization and accuse it of being behind deadly attacks in Lebanon and abroad.
The U.S. has also banned Al-Manar.