Ted Cruz
Ted CruzReuters

The US Senate has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would enact sanctions on those who use human shields in war, including terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

The bill, which was approved on Thursday, was authored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and was co-sponsored by 50 other senators. It was first introduced this past summer.

“I commend the Senate for unanimously passing our bipartisan bill,” Sen. Cruz said on Friday. “Terrorist groups, including Iranian proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah, have made the use of human shields a routine tactic. This bill signals to the rest of the world that America will hold accountable anyone who uses civilians as shields to achieve military ends, as well as their enablers. I encourage the House to come together and pass our bill as soon as possible.”

Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “I’m proud the Senate has passed my bipartisan legislation, introduced with Senator Cruz, that would impose sanctions on those responsible for the use of human shields. The use of human shields is barbaric and illegal, and terrorist groups – including Hamas and Hezbollah – must be held responsible when they engage in this reprehensible practice.”

Arthur Stark, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, on Friday welcomed the approval of the bill.

“We applaud the US Senate for unanimously passing the STOP (Sanction Terrorist Operations) Using Human Shields Act, co-authored by US Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). This bill requires the President to identify and impose sanctions on each foreign person who is a member of or acting on behalf of Hezbollah and Hamas who knowingly orders, controls, or otherwise directs the use of civilians to shield military objectives from attack. The bill had 50 bipartisan Senate co-sponsors, and reflects the Senate’s broad consensus to punish all who engage in this inhumane and barbaric practice. We eagerly await the bill’s swift passage through the House of Representatives, President Trump’s signature, and the vigilant implementation of this additional authority,” they said.

In 2014, Cruz led a bipartisan, bicameral resolution that unanimously passed Congress condemning Hamas for using human shields and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)