Berlin: Police in Berlin interrupted and cancelled a pro-Palestine conference soon after it started, citing a risk of speech by a speaker banned from any political activity and imposed ban till Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

"At the 'Palestine Congress', a speaker was connected who is banned from political activity. There is a risk that a speaker, who has made anti-Semitic or violence-glorifying public statements in the past, will be called in repeatedly. Therefore, the meeting was terminated and a ban was also imposed for Saturday and Sunday," the police posted on X.

In previous posts on X, the police shared their decision to ban the live streaming of the meeting and said that the stream would be temporarily blocked by switching off the power, granted permission of only 250 people at the event.

"Due to legal reviews in connection with speeches, the live stream of the meeting will be temporarily blocked by switching off the power. We ask for your patience," it posted on X.

"Entry to the building on Germaniastrasse is imminent. Due to the structural conditions, only 250 people can be granted access to the building on the first floor. Media protection areas have been set up in and opposite the building. These are visually recognizable and are supervised by colleagues," it added.

Al Jazeera reported that on the Congress's website, the organisers denounce Israel's crimes in Gaza, saying, "Together, with the voices of the Palestinian movement and the international community, we will denounce Israeli apartheid and genocide. We accuse Germany of being complicit."

Berlin police said they had dispatched 930 officers, including reinforcements from other regions of Germany, to secure the event.

This comes amid mounting pressure on the German lawmakers to review weapons supplies to Israel amid the war in Gaza.

DW News said in its report that over 20 years from 2003 to 2023, German governments approved nearly 3.3 billion Euros (USD 3.6 billion) in arms export licenses to Israel, according to Forensis, a Berlin-based investigatory nonprofit. More than half of that is listed as "war weapons," including big-ticket items such as submarines.

Forensis is aligned with those filing the suit, but its report is based on open-source data from the German government and other public sources, such as SIPRI, a conflict research institute.

In a recent SIPRI report, Germany was listed as Israel's second-biggest supplier of weapons, behind the United States, between 2019 and 2023.

The two countries account for nearly all of Israel's weapons imports. In 2022 and 2023, the split between the two was almost 50-50.

In the latest five-year period, the Forensis report shows that the value of 'actual exports' of war weapons to Israel is 'redacted' or 'undisclosed' to "avoid the identification of relevant companies" and to "protect trade and business secrets", DW News reported, quoting from a German government report from 2020.

The German government approved almost all export licenses to Israel since 2003. In 2023, the total value of approved arms export licenses jumped about ten-fold over the previous year, exceeding the 20-year average.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed