Naharnet

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Further Restricts Hizbullah Activities

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved unanimously a sanctions bill that prevents any financial and logistic institutions from funding Hizbullah.

The bill contains a provision that target countries that refuse to cripple Hizbullah's fundraising, money laundering and global logistics networks.

It was strongly supported by the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The bill urges President Barack Obama administration's to clamp down on financial institutions, primarily in Lebanon and Europe, that knowingly engage with Hizbullah and its enablers.

It also targets Hizbullah's al-Manar television by requiring the U.S. administration to list and penalize any satellite provider that still carries the television channel.

The U.S. considers Hizbullah a terror group and accuses Syria and Iran of arming it.

The bill requires Obama to determine whether Hizbullah “meets the criteria of a transnational criminal organization.”

It also said that the Treasury Department has 120 days to ban any U.S. accounts or impose strict conditions on “the accounts of any foreign financial institutions, including central banks, that knowingly facilitate the activities of Hizbullah.”

The resolution also gives Obama a 30-day ultimatum to determine whether Hizbullah is considered a significant narcotics trafficker or a transnational criminal organization.

In 2013, Obama renewed a “national emergency” which imposes a freeze on assets of people linked to Hizbullah, stressing that they still “undermine Lebanon's stability.”

In August 2007, President George W. Bush ordered a freeze on U.S. assets of anyone Washington deems to be undermining the Lebanese government.

H.K.

G.K.


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