Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based, Iranian-backed terrorist organization that poses a direct threat to American interests and Israel, props up the Assad regime in Syria, and dominates the Lebanese government. Please thank your members of Congress for backing bipartisan legislation—The Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 (S.1595 and H.R. 3329)—that would impose additional sanctions on the terrorist organization and those that support it.
What is Hezbollah?
Led by Shia clerics, Hezbollah follows the doctrine of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini—leader of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran—that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States in 1995, Hezbollah continues to pose a direct threat to both the United States and Israel. The group has killed more Americans than any terrorist organization other than al-Qaida, and it has launched dozens of attacks against Israel to include provoking the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which claimed thousands of lives
How Has the Threat from Hezbollah Expanded?
Hezbollah’s weapons stockpile includes as many as 150,000 rockets and missiles, and the terrorist organization could launch up to 1,500 rockets per day at Israel in a future war. Several thousand medium- and long-range munitions have sophisticated guidance systems that support pinpoint targeting—every Israeli city, town and military installation is now within reach. Hezbollah is in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted in 2006, which calls for the disarmament of all non-state groups in Lebanon. Additionally, Hezbollah, at Iran’s command, has fought on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and directly contributed to the slaughter of some 500,000 civilians.
How has Congress Responded?
Building off of the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015—unanimously passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Obama in December 2015—The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 (S.1595 and H.R. 3329) would impose additional sanctions on the terrorist organization and target foreign nations and government agencies that support Hezbollah. Authored by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) in the House and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate, the legislation targets foreign governments that knowingly provide significant financial support to Hezbollah and foreign individuals or companies that aid its fundraising or recruitment activities. Also, the legislation requires an annual report on banks that provide assistance to Hezbollah and are tied to countries deemed state sponsors of terrorism. The bill was unanimously passed by both chambers of Congress.
Additionally, The Sanctioning Hizballah’s Illicit Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act (H.R. 3342)— authored by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY)—requires the president to impose sanctions on members of Hezbollah are responsible for violating human rights and using civilians as human shields. Passing the House by unanimous consent on Oct. 25, the bipartisan bill also targets foreign persons and governments that provide significant financial and material support to those individuals. Congress has a long, bipartisan history of pushing back against Hezbollah’s destabilizing activities. Please thank your members of Congress for backing The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 (S.1595 and H.R. 3329).
Thank your members of Congress for supporting increased sanctions on Hezbollah.