US House Committee approves anti-Hezbollah sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee passed two bills Thursday that tighten sanctions on Hezbollah.

Tzvi Lev,

Capitol Hill Washington DC Congress America
Capitol Hill Washington DC Congress America
Thinkstock

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee passed two bills Thursday that tightens sanctions on the Hezbollah terror organization. The bills are expected to receive bipartisan support when they makes its way to the house floor.

Both bills are sponsored by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Democrat Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) and are amendments to the Hezbollah International Financing Act that passed in 2015.

The first bill targets any foreign person that provides support to any number of key Hezbollah financial, security, foreign relations, and media institutions.

"Congress must close any possible loophole that could allow foreign funding of Hezbollah. Acting swiftly—and in a bipartisan manner—will show Hezbollah’s foreign sponsors that the United States will not sit by while Hezbollah grows stronger,” said Engel.

The second bill slaps sanctions on anyone who used human shields in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War or afterward and explicitly names senior Hezbollah members. The bill targets "foreign persons that are responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights by reason of the use by Hezbollah of civilians as human shields, and for other purposes."

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are promoting a similar anti-Hezbollah effort in the Senate. The bill is still sitting in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has been documented making wide use of human shields during the 2006 war against Israel.




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