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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Congress mulling more sanctions on Hezbollah

A congressional committee is considering enhancing sanctions targeting the Hezbollah terrorist group, JTA reported Friday.
 
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee who called Thursday’s hearing, said the 2015 Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act was a good start, but one needing enhancement as Hezbollah still remained a threat to Israel.
 
“Part II of this legislation is coming,” he said in his opening remarks. “But unfortunately that’s of little comfort to Israelis staring down an arsenal of rockets that sit just across the border in Lebanon, or the Syrians being slaughtered at the hands of these terrorists.”
 
The United States, which blacklisted Hezbollah as a terrorist group, regularly sanctions members of the group.
 
Washington has in the past imposed sanctions on the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah and two other members of the organization, for their alleged role in aiding the Syrian government in its crackdown on opposition forces.
 
Late last month, the U.S. blacklisted Hashem Safieddine, president of Hezbollah's executive council, which oversees the group's social and economic activities.
 
Matthew Levitt, the director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said at Thursday’s hearing that applying secondary sanctions on organizations dealing with Hezbollah in Africa and Latin America “would serve as a powerful reminder of HIFPA’s global reach.” HIFPA is the acronym for the 2015 law.
 
The Anti-Defamation League, submitting written testimony, made a similar recommendation. READ MORE