US Senate approves 2 bills sanctioning Hezbollah
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US Senate approves 2 bills sanctioning Hezbollah

One of the draft laws targets Lebanese terror group’s use of human shields; second penalizes those who fund or provide it support

Hezbollah fighters stand on their army vehicle Al-Kheil Valley on the Lebanon-Syria border, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Hezbollah fighters stand on their army vehicle Al-Kheil Valley on the Lebanon-Syria border, July 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

The US Senate passed two measures targeting Hezbollah by sanctioning its funders and supporters, as well as those who assist in the Lebanese terror group’s using civilians as human shields.

Both bills were approved Thursday with bipartisan sponsorship.

The human shields bill, called the Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, also condemns Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group, for the practice. The measure would impose sanctions on members of Hamas and Hezbollah who use civilians as human shields, as well as agencies of states that aid the groups in doing so. It will now be headed to the House of Representatives for a vote.

The bill sanctioning funders or those who provide resources to Hezbollah, called the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017, imposes sanctions on government entities that support the group’s armed wing. It also sanctions companies or individuals who aid Hezbollah’s fundraising or recruitment, as well as imposing sanctions on the terror group itself. And it mandates reporting and oversight on support of Hezbollah.

The bill, which was passed by the House last month, “strengthens and expands the scope of economic and financial sanctions imposed by previous legislation,” according to a news release from AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. The bill now awaits US President Donald Trump’s signature.

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